Various Artists

Good Ol' Nashville

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Good Ol’ Nashville is a collection of 17 absolutely classic 1950s vintage country tracks. Assembled by and released by Starbucks Entertainment, it paints a picture of the American country music industry in Music City arguably at the most creative period in its history, before Chet Atkins helmed RCA and came up with countrypolitan. The music here is still raw and woolly, and its producers and record label bosses didn’t seem to worry too much about reaching out of the South for commercial acceptance. While it features tracks many would consider obvious, such as Hank Williams' “Why Don't You Love Me,” Ray Price’s honky tonk masterpiece “Heartaches by the Number,” Patsy Cline's “How Can I Face Tomorrow,” Webb Pierce's “I'm in the Jailhouse Now,” and Kitty Wells' "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels,” it also includes a number of surprising choices. Among these are the inclusion of Jean Shepard's “A Satisfied Mind,” the Davis Sisters' “I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know About Him,” and the Delmore Brothers' version of “Blues Stay Away from Me,” which became a rockabilly hit for Johnny Burnette a few years later. Speaking of rockabilly, there are some wailers included here too, such as Elvis Presley’s "Heartbreak Hotel” and George Jones’ “White Lightnin’,” to round out the picture. Other artists whose tracks impact on this fine set are the Louvin Brothers, Lefty Frizzell, Chet Atkins (with a snazzy little nugget called “The Poor People of Paris [Jean’s Song]”), and Hank Snow. Certainly everything here is available elsewhere, but assembled as it is, this makes for a very solid compilation and listening experience.