Various Artists

Let Me Be Your Side Track: The Influence of Jimmy Rogers

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AllMusic Review by Pat Sullivan

An extraordinarily thorough box from Bear Family, a label known for its completism with all things country-related, LET ME BE YOUR SIDETRACK: THE INFLUENCE OF JIMMIE RODGERS takes on the decade-spanning influence of Jimmie Rodgers, aka "the man who started it all." As argued in the liner notes of the accompanying 188-page booklet, Jimmie Rodgers forever changed American hillbilly and folk music by taking the focus off the song and putting it on the performer. The power of his personality drove many artists to pick up guitars and imitate his simultaneously warm and heartworn style, thereby codifying what was to become country music. Of the 110 songs Rodgers recorded in his short but legendary career, 108 have been covered by other artists. This jawdropping ratio inspired LET ME BE YOUR SIDETRACK, which across six discs compiles 159 cover versions by Rodgers-aping contemporaries, early cowboy legends like Gene Autry, honky-tonk giants such as Lefty Frizzell and Ernest Tubb, country music stalwarts such as Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, and even rockers such as Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia. Many of them even take on Rodgers' evocative yodel. It speaks to the breadth of Rodger's influence that LET ME BE YOUR SIDETRACK is an affecting listen, start to finish. The richness and variety of these performances collectively sound less like a wonky tribute and more like an engrossing history of country music itself.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Rex Griffin 02:35 Amazon
2
W. Lee O'Daniel & his Hillbilly Boys 02:24 Amazon
3
Gene Autry 02:29 Amazon
4
Bill Boyd 02:53 Amazon
5
Buddy Jones 02:47 Amazon
6
The Callahan Brothers 03:02 Amazon
7
The Monroe Brothers 02:27 Amazon
8
Red River Dave McEnery 02:41 Amazon
9
Cliff Carlisle 03:05 Amazon
10
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys 02:22 Amazon
11
Gene Autry 02:47 Amazon
12 The Sons of the Pioneers 03:06 Amazon
13 Roy Acuff & His Smokey Mountain Boys 02:50 Amazon
14
Darby & Tarlton 03:19 Amazon
15
The Nite Owls 02:45 Amazon
16
02:44 Amazon
17
The Shelton Brothers 02:42 Amazon
18 Dwight Butcher 02:34 Amazon
19 Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys 02:49 Amazon
20 Doc Hopkins 02:48 Amazon
21 Brown's Musical Bronies 03:04 Amazon
22
Bill Cox 03:01 Amazon
23
Gene Autry 03:01 Amazon
24 Lummie Lewis & His Merrymakers 02:23 Amazon
25
Harry Hillard 02:57 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Roy Bledsoe 03:09 Amazon
2
The Rice Brothers Gang 03:22 Amazon
3
Gene Autry 03:13 Amazon
4
The Tune Wranglers 02:13 Amazon
5
Pie Plant Pete 03:05 Amazon
6
Bill Monroe 02:53 Amazon
7
The Light Crust Doughboys 02:53 Amazon
8 Roy Rogers 02:29 Amazon
9 The Monroe Brothers 02:31 Amazon
10 Bill Cox 02:29 Amazon
11
Clayton McMichen 03:02 Amazon
12 Ross' Rhythm Rascals 03:02 Amazon
13
Cliff Carlisle 02:36 Amazon
14
Joe Steen 02:53 Amazon
15 Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys 02:51 Amazon
16
Dwight Butcher 02:54 Amazon
17 Jimmie Davis / Charles Mitchell's Orchestra 02:36 Amazon
18
Gene Autry 02:51 Amazon
19 Jack & Leslie 02:31 Amazon
20
Harry Hillard 02:59 Amazon
21
Texas Ruby 03:05 Amazon
22 Frankie "Frankie Wallace" Marvin 03:28 Amazon
23
Buell Kazee 02:28 Amazon
24
Howard Keesee 02:45 Amazon
25
Jess Hillard & His West Virginia Hillbillies 03:31 Amazon
26
Beverly Long 03:05 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orchestra 03:19 Amazon
2 Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orchestra 03:14 Amazon
3
Tal Henry 03:40 Amazon
4 King Oliver 02:54 Amazon
5
Memphis Sheiks 03:11 Amazon
6
Gene Kardos 02:53 Amazon
7 George Hall 03:11 Amazon
8 The Rhythm Wreckers 02:40 Amazon
9
John Sellers 02:48 Amazon
10 Harry Belafonte 03:32 Amazon
11
John Jackson 04:26 Amazon
12
Harmonica Frank Floyd 03:24 Amazon
13
Brenda Boykin 04:59 Amazon
14 Roy Gonzalez 03:08 Amazon
15
The Rayne-Bo Ramblers 03:03 Amazon
16
Tex Morton 03:07 Amazon
17
Glenn Davis 02:55 Amazon
18
Hawking Brothers 03:05 Amazon
19
Rick & Thel Carey 02:54 Amazon
20
Buddy Williams 02:09 Amazon
21
Slim Dusty 02:23 Amazon
22 Reg Lindsay 02:18 Amazon
23 Peter Alexander / Bill Ramsey 02:34 Amazon
24 Roland Heinrich 03:01 Amazon
25 Roland Heinrich 02:46 Amazon
26 Roland Heinrich 04:17 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Webb Pierce 02:04 Amazon
2
Hank Snow 03:00 Amazon
3 Ernest Tubb 03:08 Amazon
4
Lefty Frizzell 02:53 Amazon
5
Slim Rinehart 01:18 Amazon
6
Jack Guthrie 02:28 Amazon
7
Gary Williams 02:52 Amazon
8
Jimmie Skinner 03:17 Amazon
9
Johnny Cash 01:56 Amazon
10
Bill Monroe 02:36 Amazon
11
Hank Snow 02:52 Amazon
12
Lefty Frizzell 02:30 Amazon
13
Wilf Carter 02:50 Amazon
14
Patsy Montana 00:45 Amazon
15
Merle Travis 02:21 Amazon
16
Gary Williams 02:35 Amazon
17
Jim Reeves 02:06 Amazon
18 Tommy Duncan 02:59 Amazon
19
Red Foley 02:27 Amazon
20 Hank Snow 03:37 Amazon
21 Lefty Frizzell 03:19 Amazon
22 Jimmie Skinner 02:36 Amazon
23
Dwight Butcher 03:17 Amazon
24
Jimmy Hinchee 02:38 Amazon
25
Gary Williams 03:14 Amazon
26
Ernest Tubb 03:00 Amazon
27 Cowboy Slim Rinehart 01:33 Amazon
28
Lonnie Donegan 04:29 Amazon
29
Jack Elliott 03:39 Amazon
30
Pete Seeger 02:06 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Merle Haggard 02:02 Amazon
2
Hank Snow 02:29 Amazon
3 Grandpa Jones 02:33 Amazon
4
Jerry Lee Lewis 01:53 Amazon
5 The Fendermen 02:24 Amazon
6 Hank Snow 02:14 Amazon
7
Jessie Clifton 02:37 Amazon
8
Elton Britt 02:33 Amazon
9 Bob King 02:15 Amazon
10 Molly O'Day 02:37 Amazon
11
Hank Snow 02:53 Amazon
12
Jack Guthrie 02:38 Amazon
13 Marty Robbins 03:08 Amazon
14
Jimmie Skinner 03:29 Amazon
15
Ernest Tubb 02:59 Amazon
16
Hank Snow 02:11 Amazon
17 Gary Williams 02:33 Amazon
18 Lefty Frizzell 02:54 Amazon
19
Merle Haggard 03:13 Amazon
20
Dolly Parton 03:07 Amazon
21
Wilf Carter 03:22 Amazon
22
Rick Nelson 02:11 Amazon
23
Gary Williams 03:47 Amazon
24
Claude King 02:25 Amazon
25
Dick Curless 02:11 Amazon
26
Jimmie Skinner 02:02 Amazon
27
Hank Snow 02:57 Amazon
28
Ernest Tubb 03:06 Amazon
29 Eddie Noack 02:57 Amazon
30
Grandpa Jones 02:13 Amazon
31
Connie Francis / Hank Williams, Jr. 02:52 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Dean Mitchell 02:02 Amazon
2
Dean Mitchell 02:29 Amazon
3
Dean Mitchell 02:33 Amazon
4 Dean Mitchell 01:53 Amazon
5 Dean Mitchell 02:24 Amazon
6 Dean Mitchell 02:14 Amazon
7
Dean Mitchell 02:37 Amazon
8
Bono 02:33 Amazon
9
Alison Krauss & Union Station 02:15 Amazon
10
Dickey Betts 02:37 Amazon
11
Mary Chapin Carpenter 02:53 Amazon
12 David Ball 02:38 Amazon
13
Bob Dylan 03:08 Amazon
14
Willie Nelson 03:29 Amazon
15
Steve Earle and the V-Roys 02:59 Amazon
16
Jerry Garcia / David Grisman / John Kahn 02:11 Amazon
17
Iris DeMent 02:33 Amazon
18 John Mellencamp 02:54 Amazon
19 Van Morrison 03:13 Amazon
20 Aaron Neville 03:07 Amazon
21
Dwight Yoakam 03:22 Amazon
22
02:11 Amazon
23
03:47 Amazon
24
02:25 Amazon
25
02:11 Amazon
26
02:02 Amazon
27
02:57 Amazon
28
03:06 Amazon
29
02:57 Amazon
30
02:13 Amazon
31
02:52 Amazon
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