Don Gibson

RCA Country Legends

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This may not be as comprehensive a compilation as Bear Family's terrific A Legend in My Time, but in its own way, it's just as definitive. First of all, it's available domestically, which means far more listeners will be willing to give a listen to the genius of Gibson, but more importantly, it really does offer a concise, exceptional overview of his career. All of his hits are here, and it's possible to hear his pure, unadulterated brilliance here -- how he was as melodic as the best pop, yet was unassailably country at the same time. Several of these songs are indisputable classics -- "Oh Lonesome Me," "Blue Blue Day," "I Can't Stop Lovin' You," "Sweet Dreams," and "(I'd Be) A Legend in My Time" are all timeless, and while others may have defined these songs, these are all classics in their own right, and they define what is so wonderful about Gibson. He was a classic songwriter -- these are timeless, wonderful songs, and it's hard not to hear them and fall in love with his talents, how he was melodic as a Tin Pan Alley songwriter but was completely country. This is where to hear his greatness, and even if it may not be as sublime as A Legend in My Time, it's wonderful -- nay, essential -- all the same.

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