Thursday, October 20, 2005


cornucopia on wheels

Carl Smith, Darlin' Am I the One.
Carl Smith, Hey Joe!

Carl Smith seemed to emerge in country music just as Hank Williams faded, indicating to some the rise of a more cosmetic and homogenized, less "rural" type of singer as the '50s went on. But naysayers should take a listen to "Darlin' Am I the One?" in which Smith delivers a sweet, classic country vocal, and then its B-side, the loopy, vowel-happy "Hey Joe!", a solid bit of rock & roll. (Boudleaux Bryant's lyrics are pretty hilarious too--"Now we'll be friends until the end/this looks like the end, my friend", Smith hoots, ready to poach his buddy's girl).

"Darlin'" was recorded on May 19, 1953 with Johnny Sibert (steel guitar), Sammy Pruett and Grady Martin (electric guitars); Velma Williams (rhyth. gtr), Hal Smith (b) and Gordon Stoker (p). I think "Joe" is from the same session but am not sure. In any case, both were released in July 1953 as Columbia 21119. Find "Joe" on Essential Carl Smith and "Darlin" on this box set if you want to spend an obscene amount of money on Carl Smith.

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