Skeeter Davis

Here's the Answer

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Country's never been afraid to lay on the corn, but even by its own standards, the concept driving this 1960 album was hokey. Davis sings "answer" songs to hits by Jim Reeves, Hank Locklin, Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, and Ray Peterson -- "I Really Want You to Know," for instance, in response to Arnold's "I Really Don't Want to Know." As all of those singers happened to be contracted to Davis' label, RCA, the original versions were available for inclusion/instant comparison. That means that half of this album isn't Davis at all; you'll hear, for instance, Jim Reeves singing "He'll Have to Go," followed immediately by Davis' "He'll Have to Stay"; Ray Peterson's "Tell Laura I Love Her" is countered with Davis' "Tell Tommy I Miss Him"; and so on. It gets really ridiculous when Davis sings an answer song ("My Last Date") to Floyd Cramer's instrumental hit "Last Date." Davis' songs are okay mainstream country/pop; a couple of them ("(I Can't Help You) I'm Falling Too" and "My Last Date") were even Top 40 pop hits. But alternating her tracks bang-bang with hits by various other male country stars makes for a rather herky-jerky listening experience. A mid-'90s European CD reissue of the album adds four bonus tracks from a 1962 duet single with Porter Wagoner and a 1964 duet single with Bobby Bare (including a cover of "We'll Sing in the Sunshine"), none of which rate among the better performances of either Davis or her partners.

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