Jean Shepard

I'll Do Anything It Takes

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One of the pleasures I'll Do Anything It Takes affords is the opportunity to hear Jean Shepard, a queen of 1950s honky tonk music, sing modern country songs such as "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)" and Tom T. Hall's "I Love." The title track, a ballad of the "Stand By Your Man" variety, was a Top 20 hit, as was "At the Time." It's hard to say whether "I'll Do Anything It Takes" was meant to cater to male fantasies or desperate women, but it expresses a viewpoint of extreme devotion. Shepard is a pure country singer who consistently managed to notch moderate hits in the '70s when slicker, more pop-oriented sounds prevailed in country music. Her continued success was partly because she adapted to a Tammy Wynette-style of music instead of clinging to her earlier, out of fashion honky tonk sound. The album features a couple of older songs ("He Thinks I Still Care," "Silver Threads and Golden Needles"), but they are ones that hark back to the '60s, not the '50s.

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