Hank Snow

The Singing Ranger, Vol. 3

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This is the third collection of Hank Snow's recordings issued by Bear Family, and covers a period not generally considered to encompass his biggest hit-making years (1958-1969, with some tracks from 1974 added for perverse measure). Yet he still managed to record some 320 songs, own two radio stations and two publishing companies, and open a music store and a music school! This third box set in the Snow legacy is staggering in scope. It contains 12 CDs, packed full, a book of rare interview dialogue with Snow, complete session works, and so many rare photographs they will leave the prospective buyer agape. The sound is pristine and painstakingly mastered, and the presentation is sublime. This is one of those sets that Bear Family does -- like the other two -- that makes a music fan wonder why other companies even bother to reissue archival material at all. As for the music itself, along with some of the most adventurous material Snow ever recorded, there are 14 completely unissued tracks --12 from the years that span the time frame of the box and two from a 1974 session added as a bonus. These were the years that Snow felt perhaps the most conflicted about the changes in Nashville, but nonetheless tried to ride the countrypolitan wave without selling his soul. By the sound of these masters, he was very successful. Along with his entire second tribute to Jimmie Rodgers called Hank Snow Sings Jimmie Rodgers Songs (with clarinet and trumpet to add to the author's jazz arrangements, from which, fantastically, no singles were ever issued), there are also two year's worth of material, from both 1959 and 1960, where Snow never recorded anything but singles! These tracks include Leon Payne's "I Heard My Heart Break Last Night," J.D. Loudermilk's "Father Time and Mother Love," Ted Harris' "Chasin' a Rainbow," "The Last Ride," "The Tramp's Story," and Cowboy Jack Clement's "The Man Behind the Gun," as well as some stunning instrumentals for B-sides, like "Hawaiian Sunset" and "Casey's Washerwoman Boogie" (with the Rainbow Ranch Boys). Also included is one of the most moving of Snow's originals, co-written with M.I. MacIntyre, called "My Nova Scotia Home."

But it was in the year that Snow began recording albums again that things really got interesting for a number of reasons: first, his -- and Chet Atkins' -- choice in material for the period, and second, the variety of settings Snow found himself working in. Among the most satisfying and revelatory examples of his ability to put country-styled R&B across with a stripped-down band of just himself and Sleepy McDaniels on bass are "Life Time Blues" and "Sleepy Maple Leaves." The bigger-band material is also phenomenal, when one considers that Atkins was hiring people like Tompall Glaser, Velma Smith, Howard White, and Roy Huskey to play on Snow's sessions that early on. There are the usual barflies as well, among them Floyd Cramer, Chubby Wise, Gene Martin, and Doug Kirkham, too. Materially, from Payne's "I Love You Because" and Don Gibson's "A Legend in My Time" to "Fraulein," Marty Robbins' "I'll Go on Alone," and Webb Pierce's "That Heart Belongs to Me," Snow was deepening the grain of his country music background with slicker players. And it makes for an interesting dichotomy. But Snow was not immune to the 1960s. As the years roll on, listeners hear the sessions becoming more and more complex and the material expanding to include borderline pop songs. The rub is that Snow's voice was so fine in interpreting them, and in capturing their grain inside his own. There is Lieber & Stoller material here in "The Man Who Robbed the Bank at Santa Fe," as well as Billy and Bud Mize's "Call of the Wild," Marvin Rainwater's "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird," Buddy Knox's "Hula Love," Loudermilk's darkness-drenched "Break My Mind," John Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind" (a great version, too), an album of material by the poet Robert Service (!), a choogling little Christmas album, and the best train song album ever made. Along with these aberrations are the classic cowboy songs, train songs, love songs, geographical ballads and anthems, and historically sound country tunes that built the stature of the music. Snow was entrenched but had an open mind -- more open than most, anyway. Ultimately, the '60s proved to be fertile for Snow, more fertile than he could have imagined at the time, partially because he was frighteningly engaged in living it, and partially because he didn't experience the same chart success he had in the '50s, though it was by no means a failed run commercially. These recordings help to fill out the portrait of one of the most vital artists to ever make it out of Nashville, and who remained true to his country roots to the end, no matter how adventurous and experimental his muse got. This is essential Snow, anyway you cut it.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:13 Amazon
2 02:36 Amazon
3 03:20 Amazon
4 02:51 Amazon
5 02:22 Amazon
6 02:27 Amazon
7 01:54 Amazon
8 02:30 Amazon
9 02:40 Amazon
10 01:51 Amazon
11 03:01 Amazon
12 02:56 Amazon
13 02:10 Amazon
14 02:09 Amazon
15 02:36 Amazon
16 02:36 Amazon
17 02:36 Amazon
18 01:59 Amazon
19 02:25 Amazon
20 02:21 Amazon
21 02:22 Amazon
22 02:49 Amazon
23 02:41 Amazon
24 02:17 Amazon
25 01:50 Amazon
26 02:30 Amazon
27 02:27 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:20 Amazon
2 02:37 Amazon
3 02:29 Amazon
4 02:06 Amazon
5 02:24 Amazon
6 02:22 Amazon
7 02:34 Amazon
8 02:42 Amazon
9 02:36 Amazon
10 02:45 Amazon
11 02:46 Amazon
12 02:47 Amazon
13 03:43 Amazon
14 02:54 Amazon
15 02:21 Amazon
16 02:50 Amazon
17 03:38 Amazon
18 02:51 Amazon
19 02:45 Amazon
20 03:05 Amazon
21 02:35 Amazon
22 02:33 Amazon
23 02:36 Amazon
24 02:54 Amazon
25 02:22 Amazon
26
01:55 Amazon
27 02:25 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:39 Amazon
2 02:11 Amazon
3
02:16 Amazon
4 02:38 Amazon
5 02:26 Amazon
6 02:19 Amazon
7 02:49 Amazon
8 02:29 Amazon
9 02:00 Amazon
10 02:32 Amazon
11 03:43 Amazon
12 02:26 Amazon
13 02:19 Amazon
14 02:48 Amazon
15 02:24 Amazon
16 02:37 Amazon
17 03:01 Amazon
18 02:36 Amazon
19 01:56 Amazon
20 02:15 Amazon
21 02:32 Amazon
22 02:49 Amazon
23 02:42 Amazon
24 02:54 Amazon
25 02:34 Amazon
26 03:01 Amazon
27 02:32 Amazon
28 03:22 Amazon
29 02:44 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:18 Amazon
2 02:50 Amazon
3 02:09 Amazon
4 02:28 Amazon
5 02:10 Amazon
6 02:16 Amazon
7 02:26 Amazon
8 02:33 Amazon
9 02:08 Amazon
10
feat: Chet Atkins
02:59 Amazon
11 02:20 Amazon
12 03:06 Amazon
13 02:42 Amazon
14 02:31 Amazon
15 02:38 Amazon
16 02:48 Amazon
17 02:46 Amazon
18 02:38 Amazon
19 02:42 Amazon
20 02:47 Amazon
21 02:51 Amazon
22 03:01 Amazon
23 03:04 Amazon
24 02:22 Amazon
25 02:44 Amazon
26 02:56 Amazon
27 02:43 Amazon
28 02:30 Amazon
29 03:40 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
feat: Anita Carter
02:19 Amazon
2
feat: Anita Carter
02:49 Amazon
3
feat: Anita Carter
02:29 Amazon
4
feat: Anita Carter
02:54 Amazon
5
feat: Anita Carter
02:53 Amazon
6
feat: Anita Carter
02:32 Amazon
7
feat: Anita Carter
02:00 Amazon
8
feat: Anita Carter
02:29 Amazon
9
feat: Anita Carter
02:48 Amazon
10
feat: Anita Carter
02:08 Amazon
11
feat: Anita Carter
02:39 Amazon
12
feat: Anita Carter
02:29 Amazon
13
feat: Anita Carter
02:48 Amazon
14 02:48 Amazon
15 02:11 Amazon
16 02:12 Amazon
17 02:40 Amazon
18 02:32 Amazon
19 03:06 Amazon
20 02:40 Amazon
21 03:02 Amazon
22 02:15 Amazon
23 02:31 Amazon
24
02:41 Amazon
25 02:37 Amazon
26
03:04 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
feat: Chet Atkins
03:06 Amazon
2
feat: Chet Atkins
03:18 Amazon
3
feat: Chet Atkins
03:04 Amazon
4
feat: Chet Atkins
02:57 Amazon
5
feat: Chet Atkins
02:28 Amazon
6
feat: Chet Atkins
02:18 Amazon
7
feat: Chet Atkins
02:23 Amazon
8
feat: Chet Atkins
02:37 Amazon
9
feat: Chet Atkins
02:57 Amazon
10
feat: Chet Atkins
02:19 Amazon
11
feat: Chet Atkins
02:28 Amazon
12
feat: Chet Atkins
02:30 Amazon
13
feat: Chet Atkins
02:17 Amazon
14
feat: Chet Atkins
02:39 Amazon
15
feat: Chet Atkins
02:55 Amazon
16
feat: Chet Atkins
02:23 Amazon
17
feat: Chet Atkins
02:27 Amazon
18
feat: Chet Atkins
02:09 Amazon
19
feat: Chet Atkins
02:15 Amazon
20
feat: Chet Atkins
02:24 Amazon
21
feat: Chet Atkins
02:31 Amazon
22 02:20 Amazon
23 02:33 Amazon
24 02:35 Amazon
25 02:30 Amazon
26 02:37 Amazon
27 02:37 Amazon
28 02:32 Amazon
29 01:57 Amazon
30 02:39 Amazon
31 02:19 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 8

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:29 Amazon
2 02:40 Amazon
3 02:47 Amazon
4 03:38 Amazon
5 03:13 Amazon
6 03:04 Amazon
7 02:25 Amazon
8 02:08 Amazon
9 02:06 Amazon
10 02:48 Amazon
11 02:29 Amazon
12
03:00 Amazon
13 02:02 Amazon
14 03:10 Amazon
15 03:34 Amazon
16 05:24 Amazon
17 05:03 Amazon
18 05:19 Amazon
19 03:46 Amazon
20 06:03 Amazon
21 04:34 Amazon
22 04:36 Amazon
23 03:19 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 9

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:02 Amazon
2 03:07 Amazon
3 02:00 Amazon
4 02:25 Amazon
5 02:32 Amazon
6 02:10 Amazon
7 03:26 Amazon
8 02:51 Amazon
9 02:43 Amazon
10 02:26 Amazon
11 02:26 Amazon
12 02:16 Amazon
13 02:47 Amazon
14 02:34 Amazon
15 02:19 Amazon
16 03:23 Amazon
17 02:22 Amazon
18 03:02 Amazon
19 03:01 Amazon
20 03:09 Amazon
21 02:42 Amazon
22 02:25 Amazon
23 02:21 Amazon
24 01:53 Amazon
25 03:52 Amazon
26 03:08 Amazon
27 03:33 Amazon
28 02:08 Amazon
29 03:16 Amazon