Curly Putman

World of Country Music/Lonesome Country

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Curly Putman was, by most accounts, a songwriter and by no means was he a pike. He wrote several songs that are acknowledged standards, chief among them "Green Green Grass of Home," "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "My Elusive Dreams," "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," plus "Dumb Blonde," "Blood Red and Going Down," and "It's a Cheating Situation," songs that were big and defined eras for their respective artists. With this track record, it's no surprise that he was given a shot at his own recording career, and Omni's 2013 compilation, World of Country Music/Lonesome Country, combines his 1969 and 1967 albums for ABC Records, adding the 1968 single "Little Bitty Soldiers" for good measure. On these two records, Putman cut several of his well-known songs -- "Green, Green Grass of Home," "My Elusive Dreams," and "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" -- and relied on his originals, songs that were cut from the same progressive country cloth. Putman wasn't as compelling a singer as some of his peers -- he wasn't a storyteller like Tom T. Hall or Kris Kristofferson, nor did he have the rugged elegance of Bobby Bare -- but he had a full-bodied presence that tended to overshadow whatever Nashville sweetening was layered upon his recordings. Nevertheless, these two LPs do have the choirs and overblown studio productions that were common in the late '60s and while that sound is appealing, the best thing about this two-fer is hearing how Putman pushed against these confines, finding songs that skirted the conventions of the Music City while singing over arrangements that sounded just restless enough to not be conventional.

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