Gene Autry

Gene Autry With the Legendary Singing Groups of the West

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The companion to Autry's movie song collection works far better, opening with one of the most extraordinary team-ups of its kind, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers with the Sons of the Pioneers doing "Silent Trail." The use of dialogue elsewhere is a mistake, however, especially on "Wild and Wooley West," from The Big Show, which is too laden with support singers. Autry's work with the Cass County Boys on "Yours" and "That's My Home" is less than exceptional, though the Cass County Boys do well on their own "The Cowboy," "Cowboy Blues," and "Great Grandad" -- in fact, this is a better showcase for them than it is for Autry or the Pioneers. Autry's collaboration with the Jimmy Wakely Trio (including Johnny Bond) is bright and distinctive, but his work with the Sons of the Pioneers on "Old Pinto" is wasted, as their harmonies don't come in until very late in the song. The sound is surprisingly good, given the age of the recordings, but this is primarily a release for serious fans.

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