Eddy Arnold

The Last Word in Lonesome

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Eddy Arnold drifted steadily toward the pop mainstream throughout the late '50s and '60s until, with The Last Word in Lonesome, he arrived at his destination. "Country-pop" and "Nashville sound" do not describe the music here -- it is pure MOR pop vocal material of the sort in which John Gary and Al Martino dealt. The cover photo of Arnold in an elegant black velvet jacket and white silk scarf tells the story before the needle even touches the vinyl. The songwriters, from Bob Montgomery and Dottie West to Cindy Walker and Hank Cochran, hail from the field of country music, but Arnold's smooth crooning and Bill Walker's easy listening string arrangements are bound for the supper club. "Why" is particularly lovely, and "Misty Blue" became a big hit for Arnold in 1967 (and again for Billy Jo Spears in 1976). Arnold's recording of the title track, one of Roger Miller's most affecting compositions, almost reached number one and crossed over to the pop Top 40. If country music was moving uptown in the '60s, The Last Word in Lonesome saw it comfortably ensconced in a Manhattan penthouse, sipping champagne and bragging about its golf scores.

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