Some call it old country; classic country; real country. We call it traditional country, and that's exactly what we do here at "If That Ain't Country".
For three hours each week, we feature the very best traditional country, honky tonk, bluegrass and western swing from the golden years 'til today. It's pretty simple but we think you'll like it.
Hosted by Western Red - it's US country with an Australian twist, keeping true to the traditions that make country great.
With a genuine love and deep respect for the foundations of the genre, the legends are right alongside the best of today's independent artists - a mix you won't find anywhere else.
For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Conway Twitty - Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie
In this week's episode we're featuring a Conway Twitty album taken from smack dab in the middle of his hard country years (approx. 1965-1975): "Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie" (1969). Turning again to his go-to hardcore country lyricist Wayne Kemp (an old running mate from his days in Oklahoma City), Twitty scored his third consecutive Top 5 hit with the cheating-themed title track. A further exploration in song of Harlan Howard's "Life Turned Her That Way" theme presents itself on "Bad Girl", promptly followed by the corresponding "Bad Man". Interesting to note both tracks written by Twitty himself, who also added a dynamite hard country shuffle to round out Side A of the album in "Table In The Corner". Even the filler from this period in Conway's career is top-notch: a cover of Tom T. Hall's "Ballad Of Forty Dollars" rips as much as the original and even though it's hard to top a George Jones vocal, the Owen Bradley/Decca arrangement and production on "When The Grass Grows Over Me" and "Window Up Above" makes for superb listening. Quality stuff!
Melba Montgomery - The Original Nugget Sessions (1962)
In this week's episode we're featuring Melba Montgomery's complete Nugget Records sessions from the year 1962. Shortly after having spent almost four years touring with Roy Acuff's roadshow and marginally before being snapped up by United Artists, Melba was offered a chance to record for Lonzo & Oscar's newly-relocated Nugget Records in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. The result was ten sides which have largely been forgotten by country fans who focus instead on her duets with George Jones and UA solo material. Ten hard country nuggets (pun intended) all of which feature Shot Jackson on dobro and Buddy Emmons on steel. The two co-founders of the legendary Sho-Bud steel guitar company help push these Nugget recordings on a young, fresh and distinctive Melba Montgomery to the heights of honky tonk gold. Superb listening.
Jim Ed Brown - Bottle, Bottle
In this week's episode we're featuring a dynamite outlier from the late 60s career of Jim Ed Brown: "Bottle, Bottle" (1968). A lot of Brown's full-length albums of this era were on the slicker side and hard country gems were a little elusive. However, "Bottle, Bottle" is a full-on dive into the hard country side of the spectrum, dripping with the steel guitar of Pete Drake. Looking and sounding typically dapper, Jim Ed Brown's silky smooth vocal sounds right at home on a country shuffle (of which there are several), songs of loving and leaving and the necessary barroom laments (with a name like "Bottle, Bottle", it's expected). The likeable Arkansan cut just enough of this kind of material on this album to have this reviewer wanting to take a second look at Brown's catalogue to see what else has been missed. A-class.
Eddie Noack on Allstar: 1962-1966
In this week's episode we're focusing on Allstar Records, a part song-poem part legitimate commercial label operating between 1953-1966 in Houston, Texas. Aside from his song-sharking tendencies, Allstar's founder Daniel James Mechura no doubt had his eyes set on recording hit country music, frequently hiring above-par backing musicians to back up Allstar's roster of artists. And that roster is all the evidence you need to see that Allstar was a legitimate commercial music operation - the talent and track records from the likes of Wiley Barkdull, Jerry Jericho and Eddie Noack (all of whom recorded for Allstar) speaks to that. In fact, we've got the microscope on the sensational hard country output of Eddie Noack on Allstar this week (1962-1966): releasing ten songs with the label during that period (many self-penned), Noack continued his Texas honky tonk ways, including a stylistic nod to the super successful Buck Owens formula on several. Noack had a long and diverse career but he was sounding honky tonk ready at Allstar!
Larry Boone - One Way To Go
In this week's episode we're featuring an off-the-beaten-path slice of the neo-traditional era from Larry Boone: "One Way To Go" (1991). Boone's songwriting prowess was his main claim to fame, but with a solid country vocal, movie star good looks and three albums for Mercury and two for Columbia (including this one), Boone had his chances at solo stardom. It's mostly the era that's on the table this week: a time when country was country and the world wasn't so complicated (full disclosure: your host was a kid in the early 90s). Let the fiddle punctuation of Rob Hajacos, the dobro touches of Jerry Douglas and the ethereal steel guitar of Paul Franklin ease you into an enjoyable and nostalgic three hour trip back to 1991 this week with Larry Boone and "One Way To Go".
Little Jimmy Dickens - Country Music Hall Of Fame
In this week's show we're featuring a later career album for longtime Opry staple and country music fixture Little Jimmy Dickens: "Country Music Hall Of Fame" (1984). The front cover indeed depicts the moment Dickens was inducted to the Hall Of Fame after four years of nominations; a plaque tucked under his arm while being greeted on stage by Barbara Mandrell and trying not to shed a tear. For a man so long in country music, Dickens was best known for his Opry appearances, razor sharp wit and for being simply a "part" of the industry. Most fans could recognise his name but Dickens' own catalogue remains overlooked. We change that this week with "Country Music Hall Of Fame": the album Porter Wagoner called Dickens' best-to-date and an appropriate slice of the 4'11" "Tater" - his versatility and sterling treatment of a good country song is on full display. From the showstopping tearjerker "Raggedy Ann" and the peppy "She'll Party At The Drop Of A Hat" to the lovelorn "Holding On To Life", Dickens' place as "part of the Opry furniture" hides a very long and fascinating career and a voice that didn't seem to age.
The best traditional country music
No better way to listen to the greatest traditional country music in radio show format. I discovered the podcast six months ago and have been working through the impressive number of episodes. When I’m done I’ll start again and repeat them. So many excellent songs, so many fantastic stories.