Waylon Jennings

Sings Ol' Harlan

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Waylon Jennings gave Harlan Howard a full showcase on Sings Ol’ Harlan. Jennings cherrypicks many of the hits Howard wrote for other singers -- there are two Buck Owens singles here in “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail” and “Foolin’ Around.” The standards “Busted” and “Heartaches by the Number” are also given strong readings -- but one of the chief appeals of this 1967 LP is that it contains a number of strong Harlan tunes that weren’t heavily recorded, including the slyly funny, rolling narrative “Sunset and Vine,” the snappy “Woman Let Me Sing You a Song,” the lean honky tonk of “She’s Gone, Gone, Gone,” and the mournful “Beautiful Annabel Lee.” Sonically, this is an extension of Folk Country, bearing much of the same mixture of 12-string guitars, Telecasters, and backing vocals, but given the source material, it’s not entirely a surprise that the LP emphasizes the country over the folk, as it suggests the path Waylon was about to follow.

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