& His Brazos Valley Boys.
Producers: Lee Gillette, Cliffie Stone (track 1); Lee Gillette (tracks 2-3); Ken Nelson (tracks 4-20).
Recorded between 1948 and 1965.
Personnel: Hank Thompson (vocals, guitar); Merle Travis (vocals, guitar); Jack Rivers, Bill Carson, Red Murrell, Billy Gray, Bob Bain (guitar); Bob White (steel guitar, fiddle); Wayma Whitwing, Wayma "Pee Wee" Whitewing, Ralph "Lefty" Nason, Harold Chalker, Bobby Garrett (steel guitar); Joe Hayes (fiddle, drums); Robert "Georgia Slim" Rutland, Howard Forrester, Henry Boatman, Bill Peters, Billy Jack Saucer, Amos Hedrick, Harold Hensley, Howdy Forrester, Johnnie Manson, Kenneth Hayes, Billy Armstrong, Billy Wright (fiddle); Buddy Woody (accordion); Jimmy Pruett, Gil Baca, Vic Davis, Joe Losciuto (piano); Paul McGhee, Junior Nichols, Kermit Baca, Bernard Young (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Denny Purcell.
Liner Note Author: Rich Kienzle.
Recording information: Capitol Records Studio, Los Angeles, CA; WFAA Radio, Dallas, TX.
Photographers: Michael Ochs; Brad Benedict.
Unknown Contributor Role: Denny Purcell.
Arranger: Hank Thompson.
The French LP Hank Thompson & His Brazos Valley Boys is a compilation of live radio performances Thompson and his band gave in 1952, just as his career was beginning to take off with the massive success of "The Wild Side of Life." Even though neither that song, or any of his earlier, lesser hits, are included on this collection, the album doesn't suffer as a result. Thompson & the Brazos Valley Boys sound tough and inspired, bringing a considerable amount of grit to his swinging honky tonk. The record remains an item for collector's only, but for those willing to seek it out, it is an enjoyable and fascinating historical artifact. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine