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Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Number One Ballads - Jimmie Rodgers



The Number One Ballads
Jimmie Rodgers
With the Hugo Peretti Orchestra
Cover Photo: Jay Seymour
Roulette Records R-25033

From the back cover: Jimmie Rodgers was born in Camus, Washington. He sang from about the time he was five years old; taught himself to play piano and guitar any up until the time he enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean conflict, lived a normal teenager's life. It was during his four-year tenure in the service that he began to blossom as a singer with a song to sell. He was encouraged by his sergeant to enter camp shows and slowly began building a repertoire of folks songs.

By the time Jimmie was ready to leave the service, he knew that what he wanted most of all was to sing for people. The road to doing what he wanted most, however, was paved with a series of disappointments and Jimmie road the Pacific northwest working in logging camps and on farms. All this time, he continued to add to his growing knowledge of folk songs by listening to his fellow workers sing as they labored. He eventually worked his way back to singing for a living, but the pickings were mighty slim.

One day, a friend in the music business heard Jimmie in a club in Nashville, and urged him to go to New York and seek a recording contract. Jimmie had, by now, become accustomed to the well-known brush-off. So, when he auditioned for Roulette and was asked to call again in a few days, he took it as another brush and disappeared. Roulette, however, had been very serious about recording Jimmie and when after a few days had past and he didn't call they set out to find him.

Jimmie had done a good job of getting himself lost. Hundreds of phone calls, concentrated searching, and some six months later they finally tracked him down back in his own hometown. Jimmie was brought back to New York and a recording session was immediately set up. Oddly enough, he recorded the same two songs he had sung at his first audition – "Honeycomb" and "Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring." "Honeycomb" was released in July 1957 and the rest of the tale is, of course, music-world history.

In this, Jimmie's second album, he sings the number one ballads. All of these songs have, at one time, led the Tin Pan Alley hit parade as the number one song in the country. Here, Jimmie is heard for the first time minus his guitar and backed with a full sound and scope of a string ensemble accompanying him. These are not folk songs, but still the warm earthiness and folk-like quality in his voice is evident. It is, of course, very apparent on such numbers as "Unchained Melody," "Tammy," and "I Believe."

From Billboard - June 9, 1958: This one's a sure-fire package for the guitar-playing singer's growing legion of fans. Backed by Hugo Peretti's lush, multi-stringed sound, Rodgers glides faultlessly thru a dozen well-selected hit ballads of recent seasons, such as "Tammy," "Unchained Melody," "Hey, There," "Three Coins In The Fountain" and others. Ideal for DJ's who like to mix in standards with current hits. Cover shot of the young singer shows him at his boyish best.

My Prayer
Unchained Melody
Hey There
Love Letters In The Sand
True Love
I Believe
The Song From Moulin Rouge
Too Young
Secret Love
Three Coins In The Fountain 
Que Sera Sera

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