Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Gals of The Big "D" Jamboree (Dragon Street Records, 2001)

I've been meaning to share ths wonderful OOP cd for ages!  In the interests of expediency (& sheer laziness) I lifted the following review from Amazon  - thankfully, it's spot on:

For the uninitiated, the Big "D" Jamboree was a weekly variety show broadcast over 50,000 watt radio station KRLD beginning in the late 1940s. It was a weekly event much along the lines of similar music-oriented live entertainment programs like the Grand Ole Opry, the Louisiana Hayride and the National Barndance. Held weekly at a Dallas, Texas wrestling venue called the Sportatorium, the Big "D" Jamboree's heyday ran from the late '40s through the early '60s. In continuing their superb Legends of the Big "D" Jamboree series which in addition to a wonderful 2-CD various artists collection from last year (The Big "D" Jamboree Live)as well as other single artist releases focusing on such stalwarts as Groovy Joe Poovey, Johnny Dollar, and Gene Vincent, Dragon Street Records rolls out what is easily its most humdinger collection yet with The Gals of the Big "D" Jamboree. 

Clocking in at over an hour's worth of music spread cross 29 tracks that are culled from a combination of live material, studio demos and 45 RPM records, it's a collection that presents both known quantities (Janis Martin, Wanda Jackson, Charline Arthur) and unknowns (Helen Hall, The Lovett Sisters, Abbie Neal & the Ranch Girls, Pat Smith, Doreen Freeman, Sherry Davis, Betty Lou Lobb and Ramona Reed) from the Big "D" gal corral. In comparison to many of their Nashville feline country contemporaries, the gals were a more hard-edged, saucy bunch of honky tonkin' ladies for whom a cigarette and a bottle of beer with the fellows was likely never out of the question. More importantly, these were Virginia Slims types (remember those old TV ads??) who weren't afraid to speak their mind in song. Heck, all it takes is a listen to piece-of-mind pieces like What Else Does She Do Like Me? which opens with the not so lady-like line "She smokes the same sort of cigarettes as I do" or Wasted Life about a malcontent husband who can't pry himself from the barstool ("Sitting all alone at the bar / No one knows or cares where you are / You don't care about your home / You don't care about your wife / You're a perfect example of a wasted life") to understand what I'm talking about. Each of those cuts come from the tough-talking honkabilly pepper pot Helen Hall who takes the cake in this collection. Quite frankly, it doesn't get more hardcore honky tonk country than numbers like these and even better, The Gals of the Big "D" Jamboree is filled with plenty more from where these two came from. 

All too often overshadowed by their C&W male contemporaries, The Gals of the Big "D" Jamboree is an insightful look at a vital chapter in the annals of female country music. Accompanied by a deluxe, 20-page booklet featuring discography, artist biographies from noted Texas country music historian Kevin Coffey, and an intro by current female rockabilly star Kim Lenz, this is a first rate package overflowing with hot tunes that comes highly recommended -  Dan Ferguson April 20, 2001

Here are 2 of my favorite cuts:
Helen Hall - What Else Does She Do Like Me?

The Lovett Sisters - Bacon & Eggs

Get the whole shebang here


Ramone666 said...

Nice one, cheers!

Howdy said...

Most Excellent!

Holly said...

Thank you - I'm really glad y'all are enjoying!

thomasherrod said...

Great stuff Holly! Haven't checked in awhile. Haven't heard the Helen Hall, love it , so nice...