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Songs for Rounders (Vinyl) Original recording remastered

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Vinyl, Original recording remastered, February 28, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

The late '50s. A time of crushing conformity. Of well-manicured lawns, white picket fences, and men in grey flannel suits. Not in Hank Thompson's world.
With its tales of drunkenness, prostitution , drug abuse, gambling and vagrancy not to mention one of the most notorious album covers in the history not just of country music, but of all popular music Thompson's 1959 LP Songs for Rounders remains one of country's most essential albums. It all started when Thompson brought Ken Nelson, Capitol's head of country A&R at the time, a song he often featured in his live performances called "Cocaine Blues." Nelson told him there was no way the song would ever get any airplay as a single, but suggested it might work as part of an album concept.

Thompson then proceeded to round up a collection of tunes taken from every walk of American popular song and every walk of American life like the walk taken in Dallas' red light district in "Deep Elm." The spirit of the album even extended to the photo shoot. After the cover shots were taken in the morning, Thompson spent the rest of the day in the studio recording. He then went down the street to a bar and found one of the women who had posed with him. She had been drinking since the shoot had ended. She didn't even remember him. This Real Gone vinyl reissue offers the optimum way to experience this landmark album. Remastered by Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York, cut by Peter Black at FM Mastering, and and manufactured on 160- gram vinyl at Bill Smith Custom Records, this release features the stereo mix of Songs for Rounders, as this record was not only Hank's first stereo recording but also one of the earliest country albums to be released in stereo (just wait 'til you hear some of those sparkling Merle Travis leads)! And, we have included an album-size insert with a full-color reproduction of the album cover suitable for framing on one side and notes from Grammy - winning liner note writer Colin Escott on the other. Essential American music released in its original format, with improved packaging to boot.

1. Three Times Seven
2. I'll Be a Bachelor Till I Die
3. Drunkard's Blues
4. Teach 'Em How to Swim
5. Dry Bread
6. Cocaine Blues
7. Deep Elm
8. Bummin' Around
9. Little Blossom
10. Rovin' Gambler
11. Left My Gal in the Mountains
12. May I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight Mister?

Product Details

  • Vinyl (February 28, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 1959
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Real Gone Music
  • ASIN: B006PTL0ZY
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,996 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Vinyl
Hank Thompson comes in with the most gangsta record of 1959. And it is a record, too, in the sense of a cohesive song collection the likes of which didn't really come completely into vogue until ten years or so later. Here we see Hank and his Brazos Valley Boys elbowing their crack arrangements into the sleaziest pool hall they could find and then stabbing anyone who looks at them wrong with a broken pool cue. Rub that Texas dust in the wound. Finish your beer then leave with a woman of ill repute.

The result of this skirmish is the exact midpoint between Bob Wills swing and Ernest Tubb honky-tonk. The full-band, horns-and-all vibe at first this seems like it could maybe be a smirking showbiz bit, but then you realize that every song and every lyric is as gleefully nihilistic as anything N.W.A. ever recorded. This is true rounder stuff, unrepentant and mirthfully onyx-black.

"Cocaine Blues" here is just as psychotic as Johnny Cash's iconic take. Thompson's vocal delivery on that and all of the tunes here is like Reverend Lovejoy from the Simpsons, except a deranged version. "Dry bread/It ain't greasy/Hard work/It ain't easy" he proclaims in a song about hard work wherein the listener gets no impression whatsoever that the narrator has ever done any hard work except on a chain gang. These types of songs here, the Jimmie Rodgers style drifter types, take on an especially chilling subtext when paired with so many other songs about recklessness and murder and prostitution and blackout boozing.

The final number, "May I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight Mister," is an old Charlie Poole classic first recorded in 1925.
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Format: Vinyl
Hank Thompson- Songs for the Rounder-
Hank Thompson is one of my all-time favorite country singers and his
landmark album from 1959 Songs for the Rounder is an excellent record.
Here, Thompson sings about the down and out and the forgotten Americans
The Flotsam and Jest men of the American and Dream.
Side one starts off with Three Times as Seven which is pure western sing. I'll
Be a Bachelor Till I Die is a number that was originally done by Hank Williams Sr.
Drunkard Blues is a tune with a slow blues shuffle.
Teach'Em How To Swim is an excellent song with a latin beat. Dry Bread is
another good rocking number. Cocaine Blues was originally written in 1929 by
Luke Wilson. Johnny Cash made this number famous on his 1968 Folsom Prison
Album. The album has plenty of piano, horn, and strumming guitar.
Side Two starts off with Deep Elm Blues which was about Dallas African
American community in the red light district which is now the cities rock and roll
district. Bummin Around is a great number in the traditional Texas Dance Hall
feel. Little Blossom is written and sung in the archetypal Victorian tear jerker.
Rovin Gambler is another fine number that has been recorded by Bob
Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, the Grateful Dead, the Stanley Brothers, the Everly
Brothers and Woody Guthrie.
Rounding out the remaining two tracks is Left My Gal In The Mountains
And May I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight.
Songs For The Rounder is a fine album worthy of any person's record
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Songs for Rounders (Vinyl)
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