Ernest Tubb

Early Hits of "The Texas Troubadour"

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Unfortunately, sloppy budget CDs are not uncommon in the country market. The price might seem right, but in many cases, the buyer is subjected to inferior sound quality (due to inferior remastering) as well as a lack of liner notes and recording dates. And quite often, country budget labels conveniently forget to mention the fact that they're offering re-recordings of the artist's hits -- not the better-known original versions. There are plenty of poorly assembled Ernest Tubb collections floating around, but this British release isn't one of them. From fine digital remastering and first-rate material to informative liner notes, Early Hits of "The Texas Troubadour" gets it right. The focus of this 72-minute CD is Tubb's '40s hits; the disc, which spans 1941-1949, doesn't get into his pre-Decca recordings of the '30s or his post-'40s triumphs. But while Early Hits of "The Texas Troubadour" isn't the last word on Tubb's legacy, it does tell part of his story impressively well. All 25 of the songs on this disc were major hits for the influential honky tonker, and that includes "Walking the Floor Over You" (his breakthrough hit of 1941) and "Blue Christmas" as well as "It's Been So Long, Darling," "Have You Ever Been Lonely?," and the moving "Soldier's Last Letter" (a tear-jerker about a mother who receives a letter that her young son wrote shortly before he was killed in battle during World War II). Occasionally, Tubb makes some pop moves; the 1949 hit "Don't Rob Another Man's Castle" features the Andrews Sisters and has as much to do with traditional pre-rock pop as it does with country. But 90 percent of the material is pure, unadulterated honky tonk. Anyone who is seeking an introduction to Tubb's '40s hits can't go wrong with this nicely assembled collection.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:38
2 2:57
3 2:22
4 3:02
5 3:11
6 2:48
7 2:59
8 3:14
9 3:02
10 2:39
11 2:57
12 3:09
13 2:55
14 3:07
15 3:00
16 3:15
17 2:52
18 2:28
19 2:47
20 2:50
feat: Red Foley
22 3:06
23 2:35
24 2:40
25 2:43
blue highlight denotes track pick