This two-fer from Collectables unites two Bob Wills records that were originally issued as compilations in the first place: The Great Bob Wills was issued in 1965 on the Harmony HL label and Remembering...The Greatest Hits of Bob Wills was issued three years after Wills' death in 1975 as a greatest-hits set by Columbia. What the two have in common are the earliest years and maturing years of the Texas Playboys' recordings; the Harmony HL collection dates almost exclusively from the 1940s, when the band was kicking between 1945-1947. The last cut is an instrumental by Wills called "Bob Wills Special" from 1940, and "Fat Boy Rag" dates from 1938. The Columbia album dates from Wills' first recording session in 1935 through a recording of Fred Rose's "Roly Poly" in 1945. The sound quality is more than acceptable, if not fantastic, and the performances on both albums included are nothing less than stellar. As is typical with Collectables' material, there are no musician credits, though certain tracks cite vocal credits. There is a neat little essay by Don Law -- the man who signed Wills to his first contract with Columbia -- in the booklet which details the 1935 session. For beginners, this is a pretty good place to start at a decent price; for collectors, there probably isn't anything here you haven't heard before.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek