Two Ernest Tubb albums from 1960, titled Record Shop and Midnight Jamboree, are logically combined onto one CD on this U.K. reissue. Record Shop is certainly an unusual name for an album by anyone, let alone a country star in the 1960s, but makes more sense in light of Tubb's ownership of a famous record store in Nashville. What's more, the main branch also served as a place where Tubb would actually perform to fans. The album known as Record Shop was cut in a studio, not the store itself. But it does have about as relaxed and informal a vibe as a 1960 country studio recording can have, and you can imagine it being a good soundtrack for hanging out in a friendly Nashville record shop where fans and performers mingle. Tubb himself didn't write any of the dozen tunes, which included Hank Williams' "You Win Again" and efforts by noted country songwriters like Harlan Howard and Mae Axton (co-writer of "The Kind of Love She Gave to Me" with Glenn Reeves, the singer whose demo of "Heartbreak Hotel" Elvis used to learn the song). The music on Midnight Jamboree is also low-key honky tonk, the difference being that it's a live recording, or at least a batch of studio tracks overdubbed with audience reaction and stage announcements to simulate a live performance in his record shop. Whether or not it was actually taped in concert, it's another likable album, enhanced by steel guitar ace Buddy Emmons. A difference is that Tubb takes a back seat on some of the tracks to guests, including Emmons (featured on the instrumental "Rose City Chimes") and singers the Wilburn Brothers, Jerry Hanlon, Kitty Wells, Linda Flanagan, and most notably (on "Shoes"), Patsy Cline. That almost makes it as much of a various-artists album as a Tubb one, but it's not less enjoyable for that.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger