Cowboy Copas

Best of the Best

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King Records' budget discs practically defy criticism because they aren't designed to please critics or collectors. They're often churned out with little attention to detail and crop up as impulse purchase items at truck stops and convenience stores. To its credit, the label has improved its offerings over the years, particularly with regard to sound quality. Best of the Best, despite its brevity, is a good summary of Cowboy Copas' chart hits that surpasses even the 26-track import anthology Copasetic on that point. The collection is a little unusual for a budget title in that it includes, among its few tracks, two versions of the song "Signed, Sealed and Delivered." Both recordings were major hits -- the first recording nearly topped the charts in 1948, and the remake (on Starday Records) was a hit all over again in 1961. One Top Ten hit is omitted ("The Strange Little Girl"), with the lower-charting but excellent "Hangman's Boogie" taking its place. Best of the Best is too brief to be the final word, but if you're looking for a collection of Copas' chart hits that extends into the 1960s, it's as good as anything out there.

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