The first collection to ever do justice to one of our favorite singers of all time – the legendary Tennessee Ernie Ford
, an artist so great he was practically a genre unto himself! Ford
's music of this era is beyond compare – rooted in early country and hillbilly styles, but also open to some strong influences from R&B at times too – especially in his more romping numbers, which are always a treat. And Ernie
also had a way of putting over a historical theme with a nice sense of wit – that kind of wry style and wink of the eye that Lee Hazlewood later took up more strongly – but which makes even the more straightforward songs here still sound completely delightful. Production is wonderful, too – not soppy pop country, but cool Capitol Records in the 50s – with this nice kick that really sounds great, and which sets fire to the often-playful arrangements from Jack Fascinato. And as with all recent Bear Family set, the production values knock the whole thing out of the park – with this heavy 12" square hardcover book – 124 pages, and filled with vintage images, album scans, record labels, and even lots of notes on the music. 154 tracks on 5CDs – including duets with Kay Starr, Cliffie Stone, Mollie Bee, and others.