Wink Martindale

Deck of Cards

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"Deck of Cards" is a religious recitation credited to country star T. Texas Tyler, for whom it was a major hit in 1948. The story concerns a young military man who is threatened with court-martial for playing cards in church, until he cleverly convinces his superiors of his honorable intentions. Recorded by numerous country artists over the years, the recitation received a pop reading in 1959 by television host Wink Martindale and made the pop Top Ten. Martindale's attendant album is strictly recited, even on songs that are usually sung like "Peace in the Valley" and "Moon River." Martindale's rich voice sounds quite capable of carrying a tune (and, in fact, he did sing on his later albums), which makes the inexorable spoken word approach a little aggravating in spots.