Red Sovine

Pledge of Allegiance and Other Classic Narrations

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You might think that an anthology titled Pledge of Allegiance and Other Classic Narrations would include Red Sovine's most popular spoken word hits, namely "Giddyup Go," "Phantom 309," and "Teddy Bear," but you'd be wrong. The ten cuts on this truck-stop special (originally released in 2000 as Old Rivers and Other Classic Narrations) include only one very minor hit, "Last Goodbye" from 1976. "Little Rosa," an early hit for Sovine and Webb Pierce, is included in a re-recorded solo version, and two cuts -- "Nobody's Business" with Minnie Pearl and "Be Careful of Stones That You Throw" -- can't rightly be considered narrations. All of this adds up to yet another example of the sad mishandling of the King and Starday catalogs. Conceptual flaws aside, Sovine's narrations were riveting in the context of '70s country radio because there was practically nothing else like them on the air, but they can become tiresome very quickly when sequenced one after another. Plus, for every unintentionally hilarious effort like "Truck Driver's Prayer," there's a painfully earnest one like "Pledge of Allegiance." Potential buyers would be wise to seek out a more inclusive collection.

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