Cindy Walker

Words and Music [Sony Special Products]

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Cindy Walker is now famous for having performed the first gay cowboy love song, "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)." But among country music industry insiders and hardcore fans, Walker is better known for the 375-plus tunes she wrote for artists such as Willie Nelson (who has now recorded his own posthumous tribute to her), Patsy Cline, and Tammy Wynette. This session was put together by Fred Foster, who first convinced Walker that the music world needed to hear her doing her own tunes, and assembled a cast of Nash Vegas' finest to be her backing band. The end result is a charming and sometimes moving collection of some of the purest country tunes ever penned or performed. Walker, whose voice by this time was rather ragged, could dig into her lyrics with the emotion and mystery necessary to pull them off. It's a singular achievement, despite its flaws, and deserves to be heard -- and owned -- by anyone interested in the art form. The budget price doesn't hurt as an added incentive, either.

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