Louise Massey & Her Westerners

Swing West

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Louise Massey & Her Westerners became a popular act on the WLS Barn Dance in the '30s and '40s with their mixture of polkas, pop, hillbilly, and Western material. Massey and her group, which included her husband, Curt Massey, as a frequent lead vocalist, notched five hits in the '40s, but are not particularly well-remembered today. Swing West is one of a pair of German anthologies that together account for all but one of Massey's hits and a good number of her recordings. The present volume contains the instrumental hit "Rock and Rye Polka," "Honey, I'm in Love With You" (with Curt singing lead), and -- Massey's most famous song -- "My Adobe Hacienda." The latter, which Massey co-wrote, was a hit two times, in 1941 and 1947. Swing West has the 1947 Columbia version but identifies it as being from 1941. The remaining 17 cuts are commercial sides from the 1930s and early '40s, mastered from 78s with reasonably good results. There are a number of instrumentals and Curt Massey vocal spots, while Louise's solo turns tend to be very pop-oriented along the lines of Bing Crosby's Western forays. It was rare in the '30s and '40s for a woman to front a Western group (or any kind of group), which adds another dimension of interest to Massey's versatile music-making.