One of the finest honky-tonkers of all time, Faron Young was known as the "Hillbilly Heartthrob" and "Singing Sheriff". Young masterfully balanced Pop and Country elements and was phenomenally successful on the Country charts with over thirty Top 10 Country hits. On this disc he's joined by other Country greats - Tillman Franks, Claude King, and Teddy Wilburn - and joint really jumps!
While Gotham was seen as a blues/R&B/doo wop label, the Philadelphia-based company also distributed hillbilly material, a great deal of it from the Louisiana-based Pacemaker label, run ostensibly by singer Webb Pierce. Although almost everything here was issued in 1951 on Gotham, a lot of it was certainly cut before that, crude hillbilly with a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants quality to it. Faron Young is the big name here, with four of the 14 tracks credited to him, including "I'm a Free Man Now" and "I Heard the Jukebox Playing," both fine early indicators of his signature style. Tracks from Tillman Franks (the title track and the jumping "Hot Rod-Shotgun Boogie No.2"), the mysterious Tex Grimsley (very Western-style takes on "Teardrops" and "Walking the Dog"), Claude King (the hilarious "Beer and Pinballs"), and a pair from a very young Teddy Wilburn complete this marvelous collection of tracks, most of them pulled from the original 78s. Although it's listed as "red hot rockabilly" on the cover, this is early raw Southern country to the bone. ~ Cub Koda