Wynn Stewart

California Country: The Best of the Challenge Masters

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This masterful collection is the best of Wynn Stewart, the early years. Twenty-nine cuts that range from the hits to some of the more obscure numbers he recorded in California while signed to both Jackpot and Challenge are included here: "Come On," a rockabilly tune; "Wishful Thinkin'"; and two of the three big Challenge hits, "Big, Big Love" and "Another Day, Another Dollar." As good as anything recorded since, Wynn Stewart's voice was always notable. Best described as a "rolling chord style," Stewart continues to be praised as one of the outstanding vocalists of the genre. His contribution to the West Coast country scene and to the Bakersfield sound makes him one of the founding fathers of that musical ilk. Tunes that demonstrate this include "Playboy," "Falling for You," a Ralph Mooney tune, and "Heartaches for a Dime." His duets with Jan Howard, then married to Harlan Howard, convinced the young woman to pursue a singing career. "How the Other Half Lives," "Wrong Company," and "We'll Never Love Again" continue to set a standard for couple's duets. Ending with the bleak "The Black Limousine" seems fitting since Stewart's career was cut short in 1985 when he died of a heart attack just as he was about to make another bid for success. Underappreciated, especially in the States, Wynn Stewart and the songs he wrote and recorded continue to draw attention to a talent and a career that never quite took off, yet is more remarkable than most of the artists who find themselves sitting at the top of the charts with their pockets full of gold. This is an exceptional introduction to Wynn Stewart as well as a remarkable collection for Wynn Stewart fans to savor and enjoy.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:41
3 2:22
4 1:57
5 2:30
6 2:21
7 2:31
8 2:17
9 1:56
10 1:47
12 2:22
13 2:01
14 2:23
16 2:18
17 2:14
19 2:27
20 2:30
21 2:28
23 2:23
24 2:12
25 2:09
26 2:51
27 2:01
29 3:07
blue highlight denotes track pick