- Number of Discs: 3
- Released: August 1, 1991
- Label: Bear Family
- 1.I'll Trade Your For Mine
- 2.A Heap of Lovin'
- 3.The Mark 'Round Your Finger
- 4.The Long Way
- 5.When You Say Yes
- 6.I'll Take A Chance With You
- 7.I'll Never Close My Heart To You
- 8.Why Don't You Leave This Town
- 10.One White Horse
- 11.I Wanna Be Hugged To Death By You
- 12.Why Didn't I Hear From You
- 13.Flashing Lights
- 14.Waitin' For My Baby
- 15.Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So)
- 16.Ling Ting Tong
- 17.Pedro Gonzales
- 18.Tennessee Lopez
- 19.How Could Anything So Pretty
- 20.Car Hoppin' Mama
- 21.The Love You Steal
- 22.Oh How I Cried
- 24.If It Ain't On The Menu
- 25.I Gotta Have You
- 26.Standing At The End of My World
- 27.I've Got It Again
- 28.Sunny Side of The Mountain
- 29.You Just Stood There
- 30.Dark Moon
- 31.I'll Get Even With You
- 32.Guilty of Dreaming
- 33.Are You Happy
- 34.She Was Here
- 36.It's Easier Said Than Done
- 38.(Is My) Ring On Your Finger
- 39.I've Got It Again
- 41.It Would Be A Doggone Lie
- 42.My Fate Is In Your Hands
- 43.I'll Be Gone
- 44.The Best of Company
- 46.You Can't Find Happiness That Way
- 47.I Don't Apologize For Loving You
- 48.With This Pen
- 49.Thank You For Thinking of Me
- 50.Twenty Miles From Shore
- 51.Big Ole Heartache
- 52.Big Red Benson
- 53.Soldier's Joy
- 54.Patanio (The Pride of The Plains)
- 55.Alaska Lil and Texas Bill
- 56.Darkness On The Face of The Earth
- 57.Put A Nickel In The Jukebox
- 58.I Can't Seem To Say Goodbye
- 59.No Love For Me
- 60.You Know Me Much Too Well
- 61.My Story
- 62.The Love I Have For You
- 63.Patanio (The Pride of The Plains)
- 64.Your Conscience
This box set consists of 2 CDs of RCA releases and 1 CD of Columbia releases. The LP-sized box also contains a 20-page book with photos, session notes, and an essay by Otto Kitsinger.
Personnel: Hawkshaw Hawkins (vocals, guitar); Rita Robbins (vocals); Grady Martin (guitar, fiddle); Chet Atkins, Eddie Hill, Jimmy Self, Bennett K. Schaeufele, Harold Bradley, Carl Garvin, Ray Couture, Jim Hall, Ray Edenton, Velma Smith, Al Chernet (guitar); Leon Richardson, Claude J. Phelps (electric guitar); Bob Foster (slide guitar, steel guitar); Bud Isaacs, Jerry Byrd, Walter Haynes (steel guitar); Thomas Lee Jackson Jr., Donald Slayman, Shorty Long (fiddle); "Papa" John Gordy, Floyd Cramer, William Whitney Pursell, Marvin H. Hughes, Marty Gold, Owen Bradley, Anita Kerr (piano); Farris Coursey, Norris "Bunny" Shawker, Buddy Harman (drums).
Audio Mixer: Mark Wilder.
Liner Note Author: Otto Kitsinger.
Recording information: 05/20/1953-09/22/1961.
Illustrators: R.A. Andreas; Richard Weize.
Photographers: R.A. Andreas; Richard Weize.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Douglas Kirkham; Joe Zinkan.
This collection, featuring 63 songs, isn't a cross-section of Hawkins' history, because it's limited to his RCA and Columbia recordings, thus leaving out his pre-1953 and post-1961 hits for King Records. It is, however, a dazzling array of some of the best honky tonk-based country music this side of Hank Williams. The first thing one notices is what a stunning voice Hawkins had, and also his range as a performer -- he could do a lovesick ballad and make it seem like the words came right from his heart, but was equally engaging doing playful novelty numbers. Disc One covers his first two years at RCA, one perfect track after another, great singing backed by crisp, tight playing and note-perfect arrangements across a dazzling range of material. It runs the gamut from the sentimental to some of the brightest dance-type tunes and novelty numbers of their period, and even some not-half-bad efforts at hooking into the new rock craze. Disc Two opens with maybe the prettiest, most haunting song that Hawkins ever recorded, the previously unissued "I've Had It Before," a moody country-blues driven by Hawkins' own acoustic guitar. His re-recording of "Sunny Side of the Mountain," Hawkins' signature tune beginning in the late '40s, is also here. Disc Three is given over to Hawkins' stay at Columbia Records, which marked a major change in his repertory. The sound isn't as crisp, but the material is the real curiosity; Hawkins' arrival coincided with Marty Robbins' huge success with Western songs, and Johnny Horton's mega-hit "The Battle of New Orleans," so Columbia had him do half a dozen folk-based and historical songs and Western numbers. It took a year for Hawkins to return to his old sound, which closes out this set. ~ Bruce Eder