Various Artists

Don't Fence Me In: Western Music's Early Golden Era

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The second volume of Rounder's cowboy music retrospective documents the form's coming of age in the late '30s and '40s, when the genre became part of the popular mainstream via both commercial recordings and films. The music was becoming more commercial via slicker arrangements and harmonies, but retained links to country and folk sources even as it widened its popular appeal. These 14 cuts include classics by some of the leading cowboy singers, including Gene Autry, the Sons of the Pioneers, Tex Ritter and Roy Rogers, as well as relative lesser-knowns like Louise Massey and Ray Whiteley, and a track in the cowboy style by Western swing king Bob Wills.

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