Eddy Arnold

Country Songs I Love to Sing/Eddy's Songs

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In the early to mid-'60s, country crooner Eddy Arnold released Country Songs I Love to Sing, a collection apparently gleaned from his late-'40s to early-'50s work, and Eddy's Songs, another group of country songs with unidentified origins. Although Collectables' 2004 reissue of both albums as a single package doesn't mesh perfectly, it's doubtful that a country fan will give a flip. Despite Arnold's rep as a somewhat popular crooner, the use of fiddles and steel guitar on both albums identifies him as solid country. The best material here comes from Country Songs I Love to Sing, an album that convinces the listener that yes, he really does love to sing these songs. Of course, certain pieces like "Cuddle Buggin' Baby" are hopelessly outdated, though perhaps more entertaining for their sheer silliness. The pure joy, though, is Arnold's fine vocal delivery backed by heavy steel guitar on oldies like "Chained to a Memory" and "Many Tears Ago." The material on Eddy's Songs suffers in comparison, leading to the suspicion that it was actually recorded in the '60s, a dozen years after Country Songs I Love to Sing. Nonetheless, Eddy's Songs, when compared to contemporary country, sounds like the real deal. An enjoyable package from a fine country artist.

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