Carl Butler

Greatest Hits

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Carl & Pearl Butler's "Don't Let Me Cross Over" was a huge hit, topping the country charts for 11 weeks and crossing over to the pop charts. The Butlers' husband-and-wife harmonies and hard country sound produced a decade of hits and made them a significant, if under-recognized, force in honky tonk music in the '60s. Only half of this 1970 greatest-hits collection consists of actual chart hits, and not all of their biggest are represented. "Don't Let Me Cross Over" is in attendance, as is "Loving Arms" from 1963, and a couple of minor to moderate hits from the late '60s. "We'd Destroy Each Other," a Top 40 charter from 1965, is impressively uncompromising; its anachronistic sound recalls the Webb Pierce and Kitty Wells duets of the mid-'50s. The non-hits are cheating songs and steel-drenched shuffles that adhere to a pure country style largely free of Nashville sound flourishes. The Butlers deserve a more inclusive and substantial greatest-hits collection -- Greatest Hits isn't it, but it at least has a few of their biggest hits and contains consistently excellent material.

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