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Friday, February 24, 2023

Admirable Byrd - Jerry Byrd


Steelin' The Chimes

Admirable Byrd
The Steel Guitar Magic Of Jerry Byrd
Producer: Fred Foster
Technician: Bill Bandevort
Engineer: Bill Porter
Monument SLP 18014

From the back cover: Since Jerry has offered this space to say anything I'd like, I'll sketch a pet story of mine for you.

The average young musician begins his career with a head full of high ideals; he tells himself, and everybody around who'll listen, about his determination to play only what he honestly believes in.

By his third or fourth day of working for the public, he has discovered it's probably going to be just a little tougher than he imagined to re-educate the whole world to entirely agree with his own personal tastes. And then, not more than a week passes until he has become a 100% realist who sees that he'd better hurry and get with the popular trend of the day if he's going to be able to survive in the business at all.

Now, there are two ways to react to such an unfortunately true story: (1) you can shrug your shoulders and say, "Oh well, I guess that's life," or (2) you can join me in paying tribute to the remarkable individualism of musicians, because he has gone against the odds to prove a man can hold fast to ideals and still have an immensely successful career.

My association with Jerry dates back to a 1947 recording session in Atlanta's old Fox Theatre. Later, in the Fifties, we shared a three-year experience I'll look back upon gratefully for years to come, playing together five afternoons a week on WSM radio series called "Two Guitars." From that close relationship I learned there are no shortcuts, no comprises in Jerry's approach to his music; and he has within him no tolerance whatever for the sort of entertainment which must be classed as "musical noise." Combine these ideals with the gift of perfect intonation and you've got yourself an exceptional steel guitarist. 

Seven of this fine collection of instrumentals were written by Jerry, especially for this album, and steel guitar fans will be surprised to find that all but three are played in the old E7th tuning, a new experiment  and a new sound for Jerry Byrd.

I know there must be a much more sophisticated phrase to describe the kind of  thing Jerry plays, but to me it's simply Pretty Music. Unquestionably some of the prettiest music on the steel or any other instrument. Jerry is interested in no other kind... I wish the same could be said of everyone who plays and everyone who listens. – Chet Atkins.

Theme For A D. J. - Jerry Byrd
Surprise Waltz - Jerry Byrd
Reminiscing - Jerry Byrd
Someone Else, Not Me - Atkins-Carter
Kiss Ling - Jerry Byrd
Steelin' The Chimes - Jerry Byrd
I Wanta' Learn To Play The Steel - Jerry Byrd
Someday You'll Call My Name - Hill-Branch
Blues Guaranteed - Jerry Byrd
Faded Love - Bob Wills
I'll Be All Smile Tonight - Public Domain arranged by Jerry Byrd
Chime In - Jerry Byrd, K. Roberts

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