Carl Smith

Tall, Tall Gentleman

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Tall, Tall Gentleman Review

by Greg Adams

The song "Tall, Tall Gentleman" was the B-side of Carl Smith's crossover hit "Ten Thousand Drums" in 1959, and mirrored that song's historical folk orientation with its use of banjo and narrative lyrics. Smith reprised "The Tall, Tall Gentleman" as the title track of this 1963 album, and the re-recording is very similar to the original. Smith remade a number of his hits the previous year on the album Carl Smith's Greatest Hits, and he does the same here, revisiting "Back Up Buddy," "This Orchid Means Goodbye," and "(When You Feel Like You're In Love) Don't Just Stand There." "Loose Talk" is followed by its answer, "No More Loose Talkin'," which is an interesting touch, and each side ends with an inspirational song. Two hits from 1962-1963 are included: "Air Mail to Heaven," a sad story with a twist ending that was one of Smith's biggest hits of the '60s, and "Live for Tomorrow." Tall, Tall Gentleman is hampered by the numerous unnecessary re-recordings, but the new material, particularly "Air Mail to Heaven," is worthwhile.

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