To many, Lloyd Estel "Cowboy" Copas is just a footnote to the Patsy Cline legend, having perished in the same plane crash that claimed her life and that of Hawkshaw Hawkins; but what many folks don't realize is that Cope had 14 hits during his lifetime while Patsy had but nine. Clearly, the intervening years have burnished and magnified Patsy's legend; they ve also unjustly neglected this early Grand Ole Opry stalwart.
Now, Real Gone Music has assembled the most comprehensive Cowboy Copas collection to date: two CDs, 30 tracks including every hit and its accompanying, rarely-if-ever-compiled B-side. Cope got his start in Pee Wee King's band, and you can hear a bit of that bandleader's freewheeling approach to country in these songs, but you can also hear a bunch of other influences, too. In fact, as Colin Escott puts it in the accompanying liner notes, "His records were so personable and so unlike any others from that day and time. Not honky tonk, not bluegrass, not western swing, not hillbilly, not pop crossover, they could be labelled Cowboy Copas records."
Offering both his complete hits and the rare B-sides, along with thorough annotation and photos from the King-Starday label archives, this Cowboy Copas collection is the one to have. Essential country spanning the years from 1946 to 1963, the year Cope died.