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  • Actin' Naturally
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Actin' Naturally

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Audio CD, April 18, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Grand Ole Opry star Johnny Russell first gained notice as a songwriter in 1960 after Jim Reeves recorded his "In a Mansion Stands My Love" (flip side to "He'll Have to Go") and came into his own after Buck Owens's 1963 hit with his "Act Naturally" (later recorded by the Beatles). Russell's own hit singles (most notably 1973's "Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer") earned him Opry membership and later, regular TNN appearances. While he avoids remaking his own hits on this CD, the songs here are all his, with cameos by Dolly Parton, Buck Owens, Marty Stuart, Bobby Bare, Crystal Gayle, Earl Scruggs, Sonny Osborne, and sidemen who provide strong bluegrass accompaniment throughout. Russell revisits "Act Naturally" with Owens, Scruggs, and Stuart. Parton joins him to reprise "Making Plans," her 1980 hit duet with Porter Wagoner; Gayle duets with him on "In a Mansion." Most of these star-studded affairs generate more hype than music. By maintaining the meat-and-potatoes approach that's served Russell well for decades, this one's an exception to the rule. --Rich Kienzle

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Act NaturallyJohnny Russell Feat. Earl Scruggs, Buck Owens, Marty Stuart & Benny Martin 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. In A Mansion Stands My LoveJohnny Russell Feat. Crystal Gayle 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Ain't You Even Gonna CryJohnny Russell 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Do I Even Cross Your MindJohnny Russell 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. 40 Acres Of HellJohnny Russell 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I'm Leavin'Johnny Russell Feat. Bobby Osborne 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Making PlansJohnny Russell Feat. Dolly Parton 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. I'll Be Gone Before You Even Know I LeftJohnny Russell 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I Give UpJohnny Russell 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Let's Fall To Pieces TogetherJohnny Russell 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. He's Got You Right Where I Want YouJohnny Russell 2:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. The New Wore OffJohnny Russell 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. I'm Stayin'Johnny Russell 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Got No Reason Now For Goin' HomeJohnny Russell 2:16$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 18, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Oms Records
  • ASIN: B00004RJ5R
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,077 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter Cataldi on March 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
We all miss seeing Johnny on the Opry these days. Johnny died last July and its not been the same on there. Johnny had some big hits, but I think this, his last recording, was his best. It is an acoustic type recording which really shows off his voice, but also its such great music. All of these songs were written by him, and truly he is one of country music's greatest songwriters. The guests are great too...especially Dolly Parton and Buck Owens. WOW! How did that happen in 2000? I rate this one at the VERY top!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 8, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although this album contains several big names in the supporting cast, this is actually a Johnny solo album - none of the guests upstage him, yet they all add something extra.
Johnny had a few hits of his own, but although he had a good voice, his real strength lay in his songwriting, so his lasting legacy will be in the hits that others had with his songs. On this set, he has avoided his own hits, so it may help you to know where you've heard these songs, all written by Johnny, before.
Buck Owens and the Beatles (with Ringo getting a rare chance to sing lead) both covered Act Naturally. Making plans has been covered regularly. Loretta Lynn did a great cover back in the sixties, but Porter and Dolly's duet version was a #2 country hit - and the song that stopped it being #1 was Old flames, a Dolly solo record. Dolly recorded it again, with Linda and Emmylou, on the first Trio album. Jim Reeves was one of the first to cover a Johnny Russell song - he did In a mansion stands my love.
The liner notes mention other artists who have recorded Johnny's songs - George Strait, the Osborne brothers, Gene Watson and the Statler brothers, although I can't remember who did what song.
On this album, Johnny gets the chance to sing with Buck on Act Naturally and with Dolly on Making plans, while Crystal joins him for In a mansion stands my love. Bobby Bare joins him on I'm leavin'. The Whites (Sharon and Cheryl) provide vocal backup on three songs, while Bobby Osborne sings on the songs which also feature Bobby Bare and Dolly.
Johnny was one of those singers who achieved a lot of success without quite ever becoming a really big star. As such, he has plenty of fans from the sixties and seventies, but is largely unknown to later generations. Perhaps his music is not essential listening, but it's very enjoyable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
One of the best albums by an old pro. Music is a terrific change from all the so-called country music being thrown at us today. Hopefully Johnny will get some good radio play! He's in a class by himself. Great job on a great album!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael G. Batcho on March 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
"Could everybody see me alright?" . . . so Johnny Russell would announce his presence on "The Grand Ole' Opry" and the Opry stage. And everybody COULD see him alright . . . but even more, everybody could "hear" Johnny tell his stories and funny jokes, usually on himself . . .and then Johnny would sit on his stool and sing! You never forget hearing him once you have. He didn't "deliver" a country song. . . he was a country song. It was in his lyric. . in his voice and in his persona.
This cd/album was his last a final recording. If you never heard Johnny Russell, or never owned an album by him, this is the one to have.
He opens it with his nowe classic "Act Naturally" . . . and Buck Owens who had his own hit with this Johnny penned song joins on this track.
Johnny delivers the standart country "sad song" - "In A mansion Stands My Love" - "Do I Even Cross Your Mind" - "makin' Plans" and more.
He closes this set with an "Opry Standard " of his, "Got No Reason Now For Goin' Home"!
Marty Stuart provides excellent mandolin work on this album. And there are appearances of Crystal Gail and The Whites, and others.
Johnny passed away shortly after recording this cd . . . and he went back home afterall. But he left us so many happy memories and this great music.
Johnny, everybody can see you alright now! . . . and thanks for the music and the memories!
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