Various Artists

Legends of Country: Classic Hits from the '50s, '60s & '70s

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Shout! Factory's 2006 Legends of Country: Classic Hits from the '50s, '60s & '70s was released in conjunction with a PBS television special of the same name, and where the TV show showcased live recordings, the album is a three-disc box set that serves up original recordings of 57 country standards -- roughly one disc apiece for the '50s, '60s and '70s (it does dip back to the '40s on the first disc and forward to the '80s on the last, but such accuracy is really nitpicking). The term "standard" is no exaggeration: among these 57 songs not a one is unfamiliar or unexpected, which is the appeal of the set, of course. This isn't for collectors, it's for fans of country who want to buy a good chunk of the classic canon in one place for a reasonable price, and that's exactly what this offers. In fact, any set that offers Bob Wills' "New San Antonio Rose," Ernest Tubb's "Walking the Floor Over You," Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line," Hank Williams' "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)," Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight," Marty Robbins' "El Paso," Dave Dudley's "Six Days on the Road," Roger Miller's "King of the Road," Buck Owens' "Act Naturally," Conway Twitty's "Hello Darlin'," Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man," Jerry Reed's "When You're Hot, You're Hot," Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy," Charlie Rich's "The Most Beautiful Girl" and George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today" has enough stone-cold classics to serve as an introduction to the golden age of country music.

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