Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Tag: Countrypolitan record

"Johnny Zero"
Zeroto180

“Johnny Zero”: Reduced to Nothing

Recorded by Merle Kilgore in early November, 1963 at Columbia Recording Studio in Nashville and released January 1964 as a single by MGM: “Johnny Zero“ Merle Kilgore (1963) Does Merle Kilgore sound like Johnny Cash because they were such good friends, or were Merle and Johnny good friends because their

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"Understand Your Man"
Zeroto180

“Understand Your Man”: Little Jimmy Dempsey Picks on Johnny Cash

Guitarist “Little” Jimmy Dempsey uses twin guitars to transform Johnny Cash‘s “Understand Your Man” into a tuneful instrumental that bears little resemblance to the original – in a good way: “Understand Your Man“ Little Jimmy Dempsey (c. 1970) This track can be found on 1970’s Little Jimmy Dempsey Picks on Johnny

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"Hicktown"
Zeroto180

“Hicktown”: Place from Which No One Escapes

“Hicktown” appears to be the B-side of an updated “Sixteen Tons” single released on Capitol in 1965.  Tennessee Ernie Ford sings of a down-on-its-luck place that holds its destitute and demoralized residents captive, unable to leave.  Sounds terrifying, actually: “Hicktown“ Tennessee Ernie Ford (1965) Written by Charlie Williams & Scott

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"Squaws Along the Yukon"
Zeroto180

Hank Thompson: Western Swing’s Dean of Diction

In my prior post about the Nashville Chowdown LP, I mentioned that back in the early 70s jazz singer Blossom Dearie‘s  “exceptional annunciation” was being put to good use in the ‘Singing Rice-ipe’ radio ads.  If Blossom Dearie had a male counterpart, that person would undoubtedly be Hank Thompson, whose

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"Fastest Guitar Alive"
Zeroto180

Roy Orbison (is) The Fastest Guitar Alive

For a modest sum, I picked up this Roy Orbison soundtrack for the 1967 motion picture – Fastest Guitar Alive – and was surprised by the quality of songs from start to finish. Cover art by Frank Frazetta All ten songs on the album are Roy Orbison originals – seven

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