Thursday, August 24, 2006

emphatically fanatical-Lee country

The Shacklefords
Until you've heard the Shacklefords, you ain't heard nothin' yet

Produced by Lee Hazlewood & Marty Cooper, and named after Naomi Shackleford - Lee Hazlewood's first wife and high school sweetheart. Lee wrote much of the material on this record, the first of two Shacklefords albums and his sonorous voice can be heard singing backup vocals on most tracks and in the foreground on a couple. The band also released a number of singles, their first being A stranger In Your Town (track 6).
If the liner notes are to be trusted, Lee Hazlewood was breaking new ground here in defining the crossover genre of Country Folk:

"The Shacklefords have come up with just about the doggonedest sound you've ever heard. And I'm surprised that no one thought of it before, because the idea of combining two of America's distinct native musical heritages—folk music and country music—is a natural.
After all, the roots are basically the same—southern and southwest in origin— and the blend of the two is like putting together steak and potatoes."
— Jack Tracy, Mercury Recording Director

Richie Unterberger from All Music Guide, is not so kind:
"An interesting combination of folk and country music presented in an honest, warm and appealing manner" boasts the banner on the back sleeve... To "honest, warm and appealing" they could have added "bland." That's even though most of the songs were written, together or separately, by Lee Hazlewood and his sometime cohort Marty Cooper. And, yes, even though ace session men like James Burton, Hal Blaine, Billy Strange, and Al Casey play on the album. It's wholesome, pretty sterile whitebread folk-country, in the manner of many early-1960s folk LPs that were trying to be variety-show entertainment more than they were a vehicle for personal expression, or steeped in authentic folk music. Just one song, "Our Little Boy Blue," has the sort of eccentricity typical of much of Hazlewood's stranger work, with his dust-dry narration of a lyric impossible to pigeonhole as either cornball or put-on satire. Hazlewood's unmistakably deep, debauched-Johnny Cash-style vocals are heard from time to time (usually in the background), but only Hazlewood fanatics will want this in their collection."

Well, Ritchie, I must be one of those fanatics!
After repeated listenings in the process of cleaning up this rip I'm hooked on this sound - there's an optimism and vitality there that keeps me humming... clearly it never claimed to be "authentic" but if you like the sound of Country before it disappeared up it's own fundamental orifice in the latter decades of the twentieth century, give it a listen... To me this is catchy country pop at it's simplistic and sentimental best!

01 Mama Was a Cotton Picker
02 (There Goes) The Big Boss Man
03 Sweet Mollye (Life can be so Cruel)
04 Golden Bells
05 If The World Don't End Tomorrow (I'm Coming After You)
06 A Stranger In Your Town
07 Our little Boy Blue
08 Caro-Lyn
09 Big River
10 After That
11 Stand Up
12 You'll Never Have My Love So True

Come 'n' get it! [160kbps mono Mercury LP MG 20806/1963]
scans & full album text included in archive


Blogger Alan said...

Many thanks for giving the chance of hearing this record, and for the excellent archive. It sounds very nice, really something.

6:35 pm, August 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, the cover screams that one should look into making wood-cuts again ; )
great sound and Thanks & Cheers for sharing this! M

5:33 am, August 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well that's a real pleasure. All of The Shackleford's stuff has been discontinued and somewhere in space they take some hundred bucks for an album.

B.t.w., there should be at least two album of those guys (incl. Muddy River a.o.), isn't it?

Many Thanks so far

1:33 am, September 01, 2006  
Blogger benito x said...

Yes there is another LP "The Shacklefords Sing" from 1966, and a number of singles. I don't have any more myself.. Anyone?

11:16 am, September 01, 2006  
Blogger Snowbag said...

Thanks much: I wasn't that familiar w/the Shacklefords.

12:36 pm, September 05, 2006  
Blogger Snowbag said...

Thanks much: I wasn't that familiar w/the Shacklefords.

12:45 pm, September 05, 2006  
Blogger squeezo said...

New Accordeon Blog:

12:18 am, September 18, 2006  
Blogger Alan said...

Hi, if you're still looking for "20th Century Lee", here it is:


4:24 am, October 03, 2006  
Anonymous fernando said...

HI, the archive has been deleted!

10:46 am, November 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for all the great Lee stuff!!!
Much appreciated
How about posting the "Nancy and Lee 3" album - it's quite difficult (or very expensive) to come by in Europe...

8:03 pm, November 07, 2006  
Blogger benito x said...

Fernando, it is fixed.

Anonymous, I try not to post currently available releases. This blog is focused more on OOP material...

11:18 am, November 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found another one:
Lee Hazlewood & Friends
via -
Keep them coming.

1:34 am, November 12, 2006  
Blogger David said...

First time here - looks good. I don't know what the password is to open the archive. Would I be able to find out please?

Thanks in advance.

9:20 pm, March 09, 2007  
Blogger benito x said...

The password for everything is to be found in the comments for the latest post. I'm truly sorry for the inconvenience, I was trying to make things a little harder for the "person" who deleted all the files last weekend...
You know what they say about increased security measures to combat terrorism...
Like Fighting for Peace!

10:26 pm, March 09, 2007  
Blogger David said...

No I mean I have the actual file, but the zip file is password protected. That's the password I need. I could only find the password for the link in the latest comments. Sorry if I am being totally stupid but I couldn't see any other Pword....

10:42 pm, March 09, 2007  
Blogger benito x said...

it should be the same!

10:45 pm, March 09, 2007  
Blogger David said...

*sigh* yes it was my error. I actually guessed it in the end sort of. I think when I copied it from the latest comments to my clipboard I didn't actually copy it. So I was effectivley pasting in the wrong password with some junk that was already in my clipboard.

Silly me - thanks very much :¬)

11:40 pm, March 09, 2007  
Anonymous Tim said...

Searching for the artist that did "Big River" (The Shacklefords), I found your excellent page. I must be braindead -- I can't figure out how to unlock the file I downloaded. Can you give me a hint?

BTW, I have just ripped an old reel that includes "Big River" -- a scoped aircheck my dad made in 1963 of WHIY in Orlando, Florida.

3:50 pm, October 08, 2007  
Blogger benito x said...

Tim, if you get asked for a password, it should always be:


Very interested in the WHIY reel... are you planning on posting it?

5:19 pm, October 08, 2007  
Anonymous tim said...

thanks! as for the aircheck, i'm working on a website to facilitate aircheck exchange and cataloging of one's aircheck library. you can find it (and "request" the whiy check) at:

The ARSA Aircheck Exchange

note, my dad scoped for music, so you won't hear a lot of chatter, although at the end of big river you can just make out "shacklefords" -- otherwise i never would have found the song or this site. the reel has a lot of oop or little known songs.


12:41 am, October 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have some 1960s off the air recordings of the Shacklefords not included in this album. Titles are (I think) "I've got a woman", "Travelin' Shoes" and "Ringtailed Tom". These may not be of the highest quality. If anyone is interested, contact me at and I'll figure out a way to send them to you.

Bob O

2:59 am, July 06, 2008  

Post a Comment

<< Home