Today, we're spotlighting two new releases from Cherry Red's Morello Records imprint.
Tammy Wynette's One of a Kind/Womanhood/Just Tammy set of three albums on two CDs marks Morello's ninth visit to Wynette's extensive discography. This trio comprises her final three solo albums of the 1970s for the Epic Records label, all of which are making their CD debuts. All three LPs were produced by her longtime collaborator Billy Sherrill at CBS' Nashville studios and charted on the Billboard Country Albums survey.
1977's One of a Kind (No. 32 Country) certainly described Tammy Wynette (1942-1998). Her eighteenth studio album, it featured a title track penned by Sherrill and Stephen Alan Davis (a No. 6 Country hit) as well as covers of Kenny Rogers' "Sweet Music Man," Curly Putman and Sonny Throckmorton's "What I Had with You" (previously cut by Jean Shepard and Slim Whitman but best-known in a 1981 version by John Conlee), and Jerry Gillespie's "Heaven's Just a Sin Away" (a Grammy-winning 1977 chart-topper for The Kendalls). Wynette included her own "That's the Way It Could Have Been" and the personal recitation "Dear Daughters" in which she apologized to her real-life children for her absences in their lives. The next year's Womanhood (No. 14) followed the same template as its predecessor. The title track by Bobby Braddock gave Wynette her last-ever top 5 Country single. The author described the No. 3 smash as "a song about a girl having a tearful talk with God about losing her virginity." A higher power also figured into the LP's other single, "I'd Like to See Jesus (On the Midnight Special)." Wynette also covered Barbara Mandrell's 1976 top 20 hit "That's What Friends Are For" (not the Bacharach/Sager song or the Paul Williams tune) on this consistent collection.
The third and final LP collected by Morello, 1979's Just Tammy (No. 25), did yield two top 10 singles: Braddock's "They Call It Makin' Love" (No. 6) and Sherrill and Davis' "No One Else in the World" (No. 7). Tammy also brought her distinctive sound to songs by Tom T. Hall ("I'm Not Ready Yet") and Curly Putman ("You Never Cross My Mind") as well as another Braddock tune in the style of his "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" entitled "I L-O-V-E Y-O-U." Morello's set has an eight-page booklet with brief liner notes from Tony Byworth, and the sound has been remastered by Alan Wilson.
Omnivore Recordings has recently (and splendidly) reissued and expanded a number of late singer-songwriter Steve Goodman's 1980s-era albums for his own Red Pajamas label. Late in 2019, Morello traveled further back in time for Jessie's Jig and Other Favorites/Words We Can Dance To, collecting on one CD his first two of five albums for Asylum Records. Goodman came to Asylum on the strength of two albums for Buddah Records; the first introduced his song "City of New Orleans" (later a hit for Arlo Guthrie in 1972 and Willie Nelson in 1984) and the second boasted such guests as Maria Muldaur, The Rascals' Eddie Brigati, and even Bob Dylan on uncredited piano. He brought his eclectic brand of folk to Asylum in 1975 with Jessie's Jig and Other Favorites which welcomed Vassar Clements on fiddle and Jethro Burns of Homer and Jethro on mandolin. In addition to Goodman's own songs such as the titular hoedown, he co-wrote "Door Number Three" with Jimmy Buffett, who also recorded it on his A1A album in 1974. (Buffett covered "This Hotel Room," heard on Jessie's Jig, in 1976 on Havana Daydreamin'.) Goodman's friend John Prine contributed "Blue Umbrella."
Goodman followed up Jessie's Jig with Words We Can Dance To, again showcasing his blend of folk and country, jazz, and western swing with much of the same personnel including Jethro Burns. Like the previous album, it featured six songs authored or co-authored by the artist such as "Unemployed," "Can't Go Back," and "Banana Republics." (Yes, the latter song was picked up by Jimmy Buffett, too!) Horns and strings added new colors to Goodman's sound, and as on Jessie's Jig, he revisited some oldies but goodies such as the Bobby Lewis hit "Tossin' and Turnin'" and the Benny Goodman standard "The Glory of Love." The album also features yet another "That's What Friends Are For," this one written by Goodman, Jeff Gutcheon, Jim Rothermel, and Steve Burgh.
Steve Goodman recorded three more albums for Asylum before forming his own Red Pajamas label. Sadly, the health problems which had plagued the artist for his whole life saw him tragically pass away in 1984 at the age of 36. Morello's reissue, annotated by Spencer Leigh and remastered by Alan Wilson, captures two of his finest and most high-spirited moments on disc.
Tammy Wynette's One of a Kind/Womanhood/Just Tammy is available today in the U.K. and next Friday in North America, while Steve Goodman's Jessie's Jig and Other Favorites/Words We Can Dance To is out now everywhere. You'll find track listings and order links below for both titles.
One of a Kind (Epic KE 35044, 1977)
- One of a Kind
- That's the Way It Could Have Been
- Love Survived
- That's Just the Way I Am
- Sweet Music Man
- What I Had with You
- I'm Not That Good at Goodbye
- Heaven's Just a Sin Away
- I'll Be Your Bridge (Just Lay Me Down)
- Dear Daughters
Womanhood (Epic KE 35442, 1978)
- That's What Friends Are For
- You Oughta Hear the Song
- What's a Couple More
- The One Song I Could Never Write
- I'd Like to See Jesus (On The Midnight Special)
- Standing Tall
- Love Doesn't Always Come (On the Night It's Needed)
- 50 Words or Less
CD 2: Just Tammy (Epic KE 36013, 1979)
- They Call It Making Love
- We'll Talk About It Later
- Mama, Your Little Girl Fell
- I'm Not Ready Yet
- No One Else in the World
- You Don't Know the Half of It
- I L-O-V-E Y-O-U
- You Never Cross My Mind
- Let Me Be Me
- Door Number Three
- Blue Umbrella
- This Hotel Room
- Spoon River
- Jessie's Jig (Rob's Romp, Beth's Bounce)
- It's a Sin to Tell a Lie
- I Can't Sleep
- Moby Book
- Lookin' for Trouble
- Mama Don't Allow It
- Roving Cowboy (Ballad of Dan Moody)
- Tossin' and Turnin'
- Between the Lines
- Old Fashioned
- Can't Go Back
- Banana Republics
- Death of a Salesman
- That's What Friends Are For
- The Glory of Love
Tracks 1-10 from Jessie's Jig and Other Favorites, Asylum 7E 1037, 1975
Tracks 11-20 from Words We Can Dance To, Asylum 7E 1061, 1976