Mickey Gilley

Room Full of Roses

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Mickey Gilley's recording debut for the short-lived Playboy label proved to be a case of being in the right place at the right time. The label was formed to issue country records and get a piece of the biz pie, and Gilley was looking for a major label, or at least a label with major-label distribution, to get his music over to the public at large. As a single, "Room Full of Roses" sold well regionally, and when Playboy issued it and got behind it, all those A&R men who turned Gilley down must have been turning green. It was the first of no less than 16 number one hits. Backed by an ace session band that included Bobby Dyson on bass and guitarists Dave Kirby, Bobby Thompson (both of whom worked with Waylon Jennings), and Jimmy Colvard, as well as fiddle whiz Buddy Spicher, drummer Larrie London, and steel boss Russ Hicks, Gilley delivered a program that was rock-solid country, including "Swinging Doors," Stonewall Jackson's "Don't Be Angry," Harlan Howard's "She Called Me Baby," and Bob Wills' "Faded Love." Room Full of Roses was pure, elegant honky tonk country done Gilley-style, with that smooth voice, slippery fingers, and empathic attitude. Women and men dug him in equal measure. And with a recording as full of the country spirit and pathos as this one, what's not to dig? Highly recommended. This album has finally been issued on CD, paired with Gilley's Smokin' on the Audium label with brilliantly reproduced sound

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