George Jones

The Crown Prince of Country Music

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George Jones cut Starday Records' very first album, Grand Ole Opry's New Star, in 1956, and scored several hits for the label before moving to greener pastures at Mercury Records. Starday then issued The Crown Prince of Country Music in 1961 to capitalize on Jones' Mercury success by compiling an album of leftover tracks that had not previously appeared on album. As a result, there are no hits to be found, but rather an assortment of rarities such as the Hank Williams-esque ballad "You're in My Heart," which was the B-side of Jones' very first single, "There's No Money in This Deal." Elsewhere, Jones does his best Faron Young impression on "I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night," and flirts with rockabilly on "One Woman Man" and "Maybe Little Baby." Enthusiasts of Jones' early recordings will enjoy everything here, but the presentation is unfortunately marred by an electronically re-processed stereo effect. The Crown Prince of Country Music, like Jones' first album, Grand Ole Opry's New Star, contains a number of obscure tracks that have never been reissued on CD, so collectors can only hope that as these songs enter the public domain overseas, a comprehensive anthology of Jones' early sides will finally appear.

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