Charline Arthur

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Charline Arthur was a country singer who was shaking things up in a proto-feminist way long before Patsy Cline and decades before today's crop of liberated country ladies ever entertained such notions. She wore pants on-stage, jumped off amplifiers, and cavorted in a manner that later made her assert that she was "shakin' that thing on-stage long before Elvis ever thought about it." Her ahead-of-her-time stance didn't bring forth any hits, but a wealth of fine music did emerge, all of it collected on this 32-track single-disc anthology. There wasn't anything subtle or subdued in Arthur's approach; she could honky tonk howl and carry on every bit as good as Rose Maddox and then some. Her brassy and sassy demeanor contained more than a generous dollop of blues phrasing, best-heard on flag-wavers like "I've Got the Boogie Blues," "Burn That Candle," "Just Look, Don't Touch, He's Mine," "Flash Your Diamonds," "Honey Bun," and the title track. But Charline could also wrap her pipes around slow weepers full of recrimination like "Too Long, Too Many Times," "I Was Wrong," "I'm Having a Party All by Myself," and "(I'm in Love) With Somebody Else's Used to Be" with just as much enthusiasm and finesse. Bringing together tracks cut for Bullet, Imperial, RCA Victor, and Coin between 1949-1957, this is the best overview that'll probably ever hit the stands on this one-of-a-kind artist. Excellent notes by Colin Escott make this package an overall delightful surprise for folks coming to her work for the first time.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:14
2 2:14
3
2:21
4 2:19
5 2:17
6 2:25
7 2:33
8 2:15
9 2:24
10
2:08
11 2:12
12 2:36
13 2:28
14 2:27
15 2:43
16 2:29
17 2:37
18 2:45
19
3:11
20 2:13
21 2:41
22 2:27
23 2:48
24 2:17
25 2:37
26
2:34
27 2:23
28
2:21
29 2:05
30 2:45
31
2:43
32 2:26
blue highlight denotes track pick