The Smothers Brothers

The Smothers Brothers Play It Straight

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The Smothers Brothers Play It Straight Review

by Greg Adams

The Smothers Brothers usually included a serious performance or two on their albums and, in response to fan requests, eventually made a mostly serious album. The Smothers Brothers Play It Straight, possibly influenced by country comedy duo Homer & Jethro's 1962 album Playing It Straight, spotlights the Smothers' musical attributes with mixed results. Dick Smothers is predictably much more comfortable with straight material than his brother, and sings four songs solo. Tom sings "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" without cracking a joke, but his other two solo turns provide the album's only comedy bits. Much of the material is pop rather than folk, reflecting the extent to which the commercial craze for folk groups had waned. More of a curiosity than anything, The Smothers Brothers Play It Straight makes it clear that comedy was the Smothers' strong suit.

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