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They’ve Still Got a Place in Our Hearts: George Jones, Marty Robbins Reissues Arrive From Morello

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George Jones - Jones Country Two-FerWhen George Jones died on April 26, 2013 at the age of 81, American song lost one of its all-time greats.  Yet Jones’ music lives on thanks to a steady stream of reissues drawn from his deep catalogue, including a recent two-for-one package from Cherry Red’s Morello imprint.  Jones inaugurated the Morello label last year with four albums on two CDs, and he’s returned to the roster with Jones Country and You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart, from 1983 and 1984, respectively.  Morello’s second-ever CD came from another late country-and-western great, Marty Robbins.  Four more Robbins LPs have arrived from the label as paired on two CDs: El Paso City (1976) and Adios Amigo (1977); and The Legend (1981) and Come Back to Me (1982).  These albums are all making welcome appearances on CD.

Jones Country/You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart rewinds The Possum’s story from Morello’s last two-fer, which joined Bartender’s Blues, from 1978 with 1983’s Shine On.  Jones Country arrived mere months after Shine On, in October 1983, while You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart followed in May 1984.  Both of these Epic albums, like Shine On and so many before it, were produced by Billy Sherrill and recorded in Nashville.  Jones Country took its name from an outdoor music park owned by Jones in his home state of Texas; Jones and wife Nancy operated the park for a six-year period, through 1988.  Despite the tie-in, Epic released no singles from Jones Country, though it managed a respectable No. 27 Country placement nonetheless.  Jones remained fond of the material on the LP; “Radio Lover” and “Burning Bridges” would reappear on his 1989 album One Woman Man, and “You Must Have Walked Across My Mind Again” was re-recorded for 1992’s Walls Can Fall.  The album featured plenty of quality material.  “Hello, Trouble” had been a hit for Buck Owens, and John Anderson charted with his own “The Girl at the End of the Bar.”  Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter’s “Dream On” had been successfully recorded by both The Righteous Brothers and The Oak Ridge Boys prior to Jones’ rendition.

You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart fared better than its predecessors on the country chart, hitting No. 17.  It features a bona fide Jones classic in the title track, written and first recorded by Leon Payne.  A No. 14 country hit for Con Hunley in 1978, Jones’ version went all the way to No. 3 Country.  Kris Kristofferson’s “Come Sundown” was another highlight, and Jones also recorded his own “I’m Ragged But I’m Right,” written in 1956.  But Jones’ music was always timeless.  The original album liner notes called him “The Master of the Sad Song,” but in truth, Jones was the Master of the Song.  The title to You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart still rings true.

Jones’ two-for-one CD is available now.  After the jump, we have the scoop on Morello’s two releases from Marty Robbins!

Marty Robbins - El Paso City Two-FerMorello’s last Marty Robbins two-fer focused on two sixties pop-oriented efforts from the “El Paso” and “Story of My Life” man, 1962’s Marty After Midnight and 1970’s My Woman, My Woman, My Wife.  The latest two Robbins offerings jump ahead to the seventies and eighties. El Paso City (1976) and Adios Amigo (1977); and The Legend (1981) and Come Back to Me (1982).

El Paso City returned Robbins to the top reaches of the Country Albums chart, actually becoming his first Country No. 1 LP.  It also returned the singer to familiar territory with its title track, and solidified his place once again at Columbia Records.  The C&W crooner had left Columbia for a three-year sojourn at MCA, a tenure which left him creatively and commercially unfulfilled.  When Robbins wrote “El Paso City” as a sequel to his most famous hit, he was filled with inspiration.  Like the album, the single of “El Paso City” hit pole position on the country singles chart.  So did “All My Souvenirs” from the LP.  El Paso City has been paired by Morello with its follow-up, Adios Amigo.  Robbins scored two more Top 10 hits with Adios via Bobby Vinton’s title song and the 1931 standard “I Don’t Know Why (I Just Do).”  This eclectic set also featured Robbins’ take on another classic, “My Blue Heaven,” his version of Bobby Darin’s “18 Yellow Roses,” and Mike Nesmith and Lynn Hargrove’s “I’ve Never Loved Anyone More.”  Billy Sherrill produced both albums in Nashville, with Robbins also contributing production to Adios.

Marty Robbins - The Legend Two-FerMorello jumps over a few albums and lands in 1981 for The Legend, pairing it with Come Back to Me from 1982.  The Legend, produced by Robbins and Eddy Fox, was another eclectic blend of country, pop and rock-and-roll.  He contributed a number of his own songs in addition to tackling Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood’s Hollies hit “The Air That I Breathe,” Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s “Good Hearted Woman,” Vaughn Horton’s “Teardrops in My Heart” (best known in the recording by the Sons of the Pioneers from 1947) and Bob (Funny Girl, Carnival) Merrill’s “Honeycomb,” a No. 1 hit for Jimmie Rodgers in 1957.  What makes a legend, or The Legend, most?  For Robbins, it was the ability to record in all genres with ease.

Come Back to Me would prove to be Marty Robbins’ final release before his death in December 1982.  Produced in Nashville by Bob Montgomery, it was largely a mellow, romantic affair.  The title of the album derived from the album’s own Robbins original, “Lover, Lover.”  “Lover” was surrounded by the Top 10 Country single “Some Memories Just Won’t Die” on a pure country set also featuring tracks like Jerry Fuller’s “That’s All She Wrote” and Bob McDill’s ”The American Dream.”

All three of the Morello releases have been remastered by Alan Wilson and include brief liner notes from Michael Heatley.  (Alas, discographical information is absent.)  These rare classics from George Jones and Marty Robbins are available for order below.

George Jones, Jones Country/You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart (Morello MRLL 13, 2013) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Radio Lover
  2. Dream On
  3. Hello Trouble
  4. Burning Bridges
  5. Wino the Clown
  6. You Must Have Walked Across My Mind Again
  7. I’d Rather Die Young (Than Grow Old Without You)
  8. The Girl at the End of the Bar
  9. One of These Days (But Not Tonight)
  10. Famous Last Words
  11. You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart
  12. From Strangers to Lovers to Friends
  13. The Second Time Around
  14. Come Sundown
  15. Even the Bad Times Are Good
  16. I’m Ragged But I’m Right
  17. Courtin’ in the Rain
  18. Loveshine
  19. Your Lying Blue Eyes
  20. Learning to Do Without Me

Tracks 1-10 from Jones Country, Epic FE 38978, 1983
Tracks 11-20 from You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart, Epic FE 39002, 1984

Marty Robbins, El Paso City/Adios Amigo (Morello MRLL 11, 2013) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. El Paso City
  2. Ava Maria Morales
  3. I’m Gonna Miss You When You Go
  4. Kin to the Wind
  5. Way Out There
  6. The Ballad of Bill Thaxton
  7. Trail Dreamin’
  8. I Did What I Did For Maria
  9. She’s Just a Drifter
  10. Among My Souvenirs
  11. Adios Amigo
  12. 18 Yellow Roses
  13. Falling Out of Love
  14. I’ve Never Loved Anyone More
  15. Helen
  16. I Don’t Know Why (I Just Do)
  17. My Happiness
  18. My Blue Heaven
  19. Inspiration for a Song
  20. After the Storm

Tracks 1-10 from El Paso City, Columbia KC 34303, 1976
Tracks 11-20 from Adios Amigo, Columbia KC 34448, 1977

Marty Robbins, The Legend/Come Back to Me (Morello MRLL 12, 2013) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Jumper Cable Man
  2. Lady, I Love You
  3. It’s Not Too Hard
  4. Good Hearted Woman
  5. The Air That I Breathe
  6. My All Time High
  7. Honeycomb
  8. Simple Little Love Song
  9. I’m Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail
  10. Teardrops in My Heart
  11. Some Memories Just Won’t Die
  12. It’s Not All Over
  13. The American Dream
  14. Here Your Memory Comes Again
  15. The First Song That Wasn’t The Blues
  16. Prayin’ for Rain
  17. That’s All She Wrote
  18. Tie Your Dreams to Mine
  19. If Her Blue Eyes Don’t Get You
  20. Lover, Lover

Tracks 1-10 from The Legend, Columbia FC 37541, 1981
Tracks 11-20 from Come Back to Me, Columbia FC 37995, 1982

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Written by Joe Marchese

May 23, 2013 at 13:35

2 Responses

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  1. Too many people are unaware of the significance of Marty Robbins’ music.

    Charles

    May 25, 2013 at 08:23

    • I enjoy early Marty best (well it is that way with many artists). The three boxsets on the Bear Family label are superb.

      I wonder what would have happened if Marty had enjoyed a long life. Would he have been revered along with Johnny Cash, Merle, Willie, George Jones and a few others as a grand master of country singers known all over the world? He certainly was a grand master. But I wonder if he would have suffered the fate of another grand master, such as Ray Price, who has largely been ignored in recent years. Do you need to have a rebel edge or some notoriety to be remembered?

      Kevin

      May 28, 2013 at 10:44


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