Category Archives: 1950s

“Gonna wade right in.”

The Louvin Brothers – “Let Her Go, God Bless Her” from Tragic Songs of Life (1956) and “The River of Jordan” from Satan is Real (1960)

In my journey into country music, I have not heard two voices mingle as perfectly and with such conviction as those of Ira and Charlie Louvin. I dare say that these are the best vocal harmonies in popular music.

“Let Her Go, God Bless Her” showcases Ira’s superb mandolin work while “The River of Jordan” is a rousing testament to the boys’ ability to translate their religious fervor into gorgeous songwriting.

Check out two great tunes from Satan is Real over at The Rising Storm.

Some video of the Louvin Brothers

Buy the Louvins here

Posted by Jordy

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2 Comments

Filed under 1950s, 1960s, Bluegrass, Country, Gospel

Which colors?

Charles Mingus – “Self-Portrait in Three Colors” from Mingus Ah Um (1959)

“Self-Portrait” is one of the best examples of Mingus’s beautiful polyphonic writing. Sounds like classical music, almost. This track was originally written for John Cassavettes’s first film, Shadows, and is included on Ah Um, one of the essential albums, and a good record for jazz-curious rock fans to pick up.

Buy it here

More Mingus on SWR

Posted by Glenn

4 Comments

Filed under 1950s, Instrumental, Jazz

“I can’t buy no beer”

Hank Williams – “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It” (1949) and “Dear John” (1950) from 40 Greatest Hits (1978)

After Jordy’s post on the Flying Burrito Brothers a month or so back, I’ve decided to try to get into country music. You’d think that living in the South would help, but people just want to talk about Radiohead. Oh well. Hank sang soulful tunes with such perfect vocal control. Every little crack in his voice–and there aren’t many–means something huge. Plus those lyrics can’t be beat.

Buy Hank here

for more on country, check The Rising Storm or Setting the Woods on Fire

Posted by Glenn

2 Comments

Filed under 1940s, 1950s, Americana, Country, Singer-Songwriter