Largely forgotten by the American country audience, this songwriter and recording artist from the '50s and '60s was one of many country players who smoothly blended the traditional sounds with rock & roll and a seasoning of country blues, sometimes getting labeled as a rockabilly artist in the process. He worked largely out of the Midwestern Appalachian axis of Indiana, West Virginia, and Ohio, appearing on several different radio and television series devoted to country music such as the Indiana Hoedown and the Cincinnati Hayride. On the latter program he led a group called Charlie Gore and the Rangers. Like some of the more determined Appalachian players, Gore was adept on a variety of stringed instruments, and shows up on recording sessions playing both dobro and the fiddle. When he picks up the bow it sometimes leads to confusion with an Irish fiddler of the same name, but in the case of this Gore the Irish music is simply one of many influences and not the end outcome. He began recording during the '50s, cutting blues- and rock-flavored material for labels such as King and Fan, and straighter country material for Audio Lab and a host of other regional imprints. On some of these singles the backup was quite sparse, sometimes just consisting of Gore's guitar and the plaintive steel guitar licks of the young genius Jerry Byrd. Gore liked to push the envelope when it came to songwriting, coming up with titles such as "If God Can Forgive You, Then I Can Too." On one of the singles with which he teamed up with Louis Innis, the sides promise to offend just about everyone: the A-side is the infamous "You Ain't Nothin' but a Female Hound Dog," while the flip is the politically incorrect "Mexican Joe." While Gore's material shows up on quite a few anthologies, there has been at least one German reissue project consisting completely of Gore material scavenged from various small labels, entitled The Country Voice of West Virginia. Gore also arranged and conducted bands to back other artists of a similar bent, such as the rockabilly dude Jerrie Phelps.
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