Various Artists

Classic Country: Early '70s

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Time Life's Classic Country: Early '70s is a strong 15-song collection that attempts to cover as much ground as possible in a quick fashion. Big-name titans of "real" country like George Jones ("We're Gonna Hold On"), Conway Twitty ("Hello Darlin'"), and Loretta Lynn ("Lead Me On") meet up with outlaws and genre-benders like Kris Kristofferson ("Why Me"), Johnny Cash ("Sunday Morning Coming Down"), and Tanya Tucker ("Delta Dawn") as well as pure country-pop singers like Tanya Tucker ("Delta Dawn"), Marie Osmond ("Paper Roses"), and Donna Fargo ("The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.") -- and somehow it works. Of course, it helps to have some Jerry Reed ("When You're Hot, You're Hot") on board. If you are looking for a vivid audio snapshot of country-pop in the '70s, you could do much worse.

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