Live Recordings From The Louisiana (Live) CD (2003)

Artist: June Carter

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Rare spin of Carter’s early stage work

by on 11/26/2003

This is a truly fascinating look at June Carter’s early-60s stage act, including both familiar songs and comedy routines that many listeners have probably never heard. In addition A.P. Carter songbook standards, “Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow” and “Wildwood Flower,” Carter shows off her original corn-pone humor and quick wit. She shows tremendous command of the comedy stage, lampooning the lyrics of Marty Robbins’ “Big Iron,” reciting a humorous poem about Elvis, and tossing off frenetic asides and barbs. But much like Buck Owens, when she swings from comedy into song, she’s riveting, as are the top-notch pickers with whom she’s surrounded. Supported by a full band, with electric guitars and pedal steel, these recordings are fuller than the parallel Hayride volume recently issued on Johnny Cash. A pair of tracks from 1961, highlighting a “Stars of the Opry” show at the Hayride, features Carter singing and joking with the Wilburn Brothers. But when they swing into A.P. Carter’s “Worried Man Blues,” the Kingston Trio’s then-recent hit simply disappears in their wake. A 1962 appearance yields Carter’s rapping version of “The Heel,” and a 1965 visit is highlighted by her duet with Johnny Cash on “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” and her backup singing on Cash’s Sun-era “Ballad of a Teenage Queen.” ¶ Sound quality isn’t state-of-the-art, but it’s clear, and Carter and the band are nicely isolated – no doubt reproduced from transcription records of the original KWKH broadcasts. The tracks are framed by Carter’s stage patter and comedy, along with applause and cheering. It gives you a good sense of how much the audience loved Carter’s combination of song and shtick. This is a rare glimpse of Carter standing tall on her own, unsupported by either the Carter Family or Johnny Cash. These recordings are a great find on both a beloved artist and the legendary show for which she performed.

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Product Overview


Label Emergent/92e
SKU 60614559
UPC 766127070820
UPC 14 00766127070820
Format CD
Release Date 9/23/2003
Author June Carter
Associated Artist/Work Carter Family
Associated Artist/Work Carter Family (The)
Associated Artist/Work Cash, Johnny
Technical Info
CatalogID SR 2707082
Lable Name Scena Records
Released 09/23/2003
Original Release 2003
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 59m : 44s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Live
UPC 00766127070820
Musical Guests
Johnny Cash
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel includes: June Carter (vocals); Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar); The Wilburn Brothers; The Statler Brothers.
Recorded between 1960 & 1965. Includes liner notes by Paul Kingsbury.
By the time of her death in 2003, June Carter was perhaps best known as the wife of Johnny Cash, as his sometime duet partner and as his constant anchor during their 35-year marriage. Blessed with royal country lineage (her mother was Maybelle Carter of the legendary Carter Family), June possessed only a moderate voice and range, but made up for it with boundless on-stage energy and a fine comedic sense. Louisiana Hayride collects some of her appearances on the venerable radio show of the same name, which was broadcast through the South in the 1950s and 1960s on KWKH out of Shreveport, LA. The first nine tracks here are drawn from her debut appearance on the Hayride in 1960, and they perfectly illustrate her live act, which was part comedy, part dialogue, part poetry recital, and then finally, she gets around to singing a song. On several occasions you can hear her vocal start to careen off-pitch, but she adjusts and lets her energy and country smile carry things. As such, June is an acquired taste as a singer, but her comedic talents are really the point here, and these live cuts are the perfect way to get a sense of this charismatic performer. She sings three Carter family classics, "Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow," "Wildwood Flower," and "Worried Man Blues," and Johnny joins her on "It Ain't Me, Babe" and "Ballad of a Teenage Queen." ~ Steve Leggett
Professional Reviews
Dirty Linen (2/04, p.72) - "What is most novel about the June Carter recording is that it shows Carter in a wholly different light from what we're used to - as a confident solo headliner."
Disc 1
1 Thirty Days
2 Big Iron
3 Elvis Story & Poem
4 Gotta Travel On
5 He Don't Love Me Anymore
6 Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow
7 Poetry & Comedy
8 Wildwood Flower
9 Where No One Stands Alone
10 Worried Man Blues
11 Poor 'Ol Heartsick Me
12 John Henry
13 Heel, The
14 It Ain't Me Babe - (featuring Johnny Cash)
15 Teenage Queen - (featuring Johnny Cash)

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Rare spin of Carter’s early stage work by on Nov 26, 2003