This would be a perfect Gene Autry collection but for the fact that it has only 18 songs, when there was room for about 25, and the producers evidently thought that "South of the Border" and "Blueberry Hill" weren't "essential." But you do get "The Yellow Rose of Texas," "The Last Round-Up," "Take Me Back to My Boots and Saddle," "The Call of the Canyon," "It Makes No Difference Now," "Deep in the Heart of Texas," "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" (featuring Jimmy Long and Smiley Burnette), and "Maria Elena," among others. And for a change, there are decent, detailed notes, though as soon as Bear Family got around to it, they left the Autry compilation competition in the dust (particularly for those willing to invest in a nine-CD comp like 2006's That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine, not a product for those with only a casual interest, to say the least).
The Essential Gene Autry: 1933-1946 Review
by Bruce Eder