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Country: The American Tradition

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10/12/1999

Review

Even when isolated from the gargantuan 26-disc box set Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century, the 51-track Country: The American Tradition is impressive. Columbia was one of the biggest labels in the early days of the record industry, as is evident from the beginning of this collection, which features cuts by Fiddlin' John Carson, Charlie Poole, Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers, and the Carter Family. What's more impressive is that the label -- and later, its subsidiaries -- captured the sound of each era. A glance at the featured artists -- Gene Autry, Bob Wills, Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, the Byrds, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, and the Dixie Chicks are among them -- gives a sense of not only how the label developed, but how country music did as well. Some major artists are missing -- they didn't sign everyone, after all -- as are some trends, but the overall effect is overwhelming. This set traces the history of country music in the 20th century, offering a terrific educational experience while also being entertaining. It's a feat that's difficult to pull off, let alone by concentrating on one group of labels, which is why it's all the more impressive. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane Fiddlin' John Carson 2:45
  3. 2 Cindy in the Meadows Samantha Bumgarner 3:8
  4. 3 Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Blues Charlie Poole & the North Carolina Ramblers 2:50
  5. 4 Soldier's Joy 2:55
  6. 5 Lafayette (Allons a Lafayette) Joseph Falcon 2:55
  7. 6 Lovesick Blues Emmett Miller 2:49
  8. 7 Hobo's Lullaby Goebel Reeves 3:10
  9. 8 Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye) The Carter Family 3:8
  10. 9 I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart Patsy Montana & the Prairie Ramblers 3:6
  11. 10 Great Speckled Bird Roy Acuff & His Smokey Mountain Boys 2:53
  12. 11 A Beautiful Life Chuck Wagon Gang 2:40
  13. 12 Song of the Bandit The Sons of the Pioneers 2:46
  14. 13 Orange Blossom Special Roy Hall & his Blue Ridge Entertainers 2:22
  15. 14 Back in the Saddle Again Gene Autry 2:34
  16. 15 New San Antonio Rose Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys 2:36
  17. 16 Born to Lose Ted Daffan 2:42
  18. 17 Pistol Packin' Mama Al Dexter and His Troopers 2:48
  19. 18 Blue Moon of Kentucky Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys 3:2
  20. 19 Slipping Around Floyd Tillman 2:45
  21. 20 The Fields Have Turned Brown The Stanley Brothers 2:32
  22. 21 Hillbilly Fever Little Jimmy Dickens 2:55
  23. 22 Always Late (With Your Kisses) Lefty Frizzell 3:5
  24. 23 Loose Talk Carl Smith 2:32
  25. 24 Crazy Arms Ray Price 2:31
  26. 25 Hop, Skip and Jump The Collins Kids 1:52
  27. 26 The Battle of New Orleans Johnny Horton 2:29
  28. 27 El Paso Marty Robbins 4:39
  29. 1 Big Bad John Jimmy Dean 3:1
  30. 2 Ring of Fire Johnny Cash 2:34
  31. 3 Flowers on the Wall The Statler Brothers 2:18
  32. 4 Foggy Mountain Breakdown Flatt & Scruggs 2:18
  33. 5 Almost Persuaded David Houston 2:57
  34. 6 Hickory Wind The Byrds 3:32
  35. 7 Stand by Your Man Tammy Wynette 2:39
  36. 8 Rose Garden Lynn Anderson 2:56
  37. 9 Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again) Kris Kristofferson 3:47
  38. 10 Behind Closed Doors Charlie Rich 2:55
  39. 11 Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone) Tanya Tucker 2:20
  40. 12 Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain Willie Nelson 2:18
  41. 13 Golden Ring George Jones 3:2
  42. 14 Take This Job and Shove It Johnny Paycheck 2:36
  43. 15 The Devil Went Down to Georgia The Charlie Daniels Band 3:33
  44. 16 He Stopped Loving Her Today George Jones 3:14
  45. 17 Seven Year Ache Rosanne Cash 3:18
  46. 18 Crying My Heart Out over You Ricky Skaggs 3:1
  47. 19 Pancho and Lefty Willie Nelson 4:46
  48. 20 I Couldn't Leave You If I Tried Rodney Crowell 3:16
  49. 21 He Thinks He'll Keep Her Mary Chapin Carpenter 4:2
  50. 22 How Can I Help You Say Goodbye Patty Loveless 4:23
  51. 23 Third Rock from the Sun Joe Diffie 2:48
  52. 24 Wide Open Spaces Dixie Chicks 3:44

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