The Gals of the Big "D" Jamboree is an archival release that manages to be both fun and historical. The 29 tracks unearthed here, mostly demos and live recordings from the '50s, revive a few obscure regional artists and document rare performances by national acts such as Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin, and Charline Arthur. The common thread, as the title says, is that these women were all performers on Dallas' Big "D" Jamboree radio program, but the compilation goes beyond local interest to provide a telling glimpse into the ordeal of being a female artist in the '50s. Helen Hall recalls Jean Shepard with her proto-feminist "Honky Tonk Husband" and "Wasted Life," Pat Smith pleads for Elvis Presley to make love to her ("Elvis, Elvis"), and Sherry Davis turns in a couple of ace rockabilly treasures. One of the most interesting items is Davis' "Broken Promises," recorded in Norman Petty's studio in 1957 with Buddy Holly on lead guitar. Lovingly recovered from transcription discs, private acetates, and tapes, and made commercially available for the first time, The Gals of the Big "D" Jamboree is a fascinating time capsule of forgotten music.
Share this page