Gene Autry

South of the Border [Castle]

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South of the Border isn't a bad Gene Autry collection, mid-priced with 18 songs, also Mexican or Spanish theme material. There are no dates for the music listed, although all of it is in stereo and dates from long after the classic Columbia recordings. Autry's voice is less rich and attractive than those classic sides, and the cover art is tacky, but there's a lot here that isn't easy to find elsewhere on compact disc, including "You Belong to My Heart," "El Rancho Grande," "In a Little Spanish Town," "My Adobe Hacienda," and "A Gay Ranchero," as well as his recordings of "Dixie Cannon Ball," "Serenade of the Bells," and "Down in the Valley." The material tends toward the more romantic pop side of Autry's repertory, and fans of his blues and cowboy songs may want to skip this release. But anyone who likes his voice or enjoys the romantic side of singing cowboy movies will love this collection -- and his performance of "Under Fiesta Stars" by itself will prove worth the price.

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