Carolyn Hester

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Two-CD, 60-song compilation of 1960s recordings including both of her Columbia albums, her 1965 Dot album That's My Song, a couple of 1962 cuts ("My Love Is a Rider" and "Gregorio Cortez") whose initial release is unhelpfully unidentified in the liner notes, her two 1966-67 folk-rock Columbia singles, and no less than 18 Columbia outtakes and alternates spanning 1961-67. Although this doesn't have her mid-1960s live Town Hall albums (available on Bear Family's At Town Hall CD), her pre-Columbia album for Tradition, or her psychedelic late-'60s albums as leader of the Carolyn Hester Coalition, it's the best anthology of her 1960s material. Particularly interesting is the rare 1966-67 folk-rock stuff, produced by John Simon with mixed results. "Early Morning" was a single and is the best of these numbers, with its period pop-folk-rock feel; there are also covers of Jackson Frank's "Blues Run the Game," Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe," and, believe it or not, Cat Stevens' "I Love My Dog." On the other hand, the attempt at "Penny Lane" is pretty ghastly, and the 1966 rendition of Ravi Shankar's "Majhires," with Eric Weisberg on mandolin, is a noble but failed experiment. Going back a little further, highlights of the early-1960s Columbia outtakes include "Summertime" and an intriguing take of Buddy Holly's "Lonesome Tears" with light drums that oh-so-slightly prefigure folk-rock.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:20
2 2:44
3 2:50
4 3:11
5 2:04
6 3:39
7 2:39
8 2:40
9 3:00
10
2:18
11 4:41
12 2:54
13 1:51
14 2:16
15 1:53
16 5:08
17 2:53
18 4:38
19 2:49
20 1:52
21 1:42
22 2:09
23
2:51
24 2:14
25 2:51
26 2:22
27 1:58
28 2:34
29 2:21

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:30
2 1:53
3 2:12
4 2:51
5 2:27
6 2:11
7 1:59
8 1:57
9
2:42
10
2:40
11 2:40
12 2:02
13
3:21
14 2:13
15 2:49
16
2:22
17 4:13
18
2:33
19
3:04
20 3:05
21
2:37
22 2:40
23 1:56
24 2:54
25 2:57
26 1:59
27 2:40
28 2:48
29 1:56
30
2:38
31 2:00
blue highlight denotes track pick