Anita Kerr was one of the architects of the Nashville Sound, the production phenomenon which re-invented the country music in the late ’50s and early 1960s. Her extraordinary musical versatility, the wit and economy of her arrangements (sometimes written under great time pressure) and the clean, modernising verve of her singers were essential factors in this historic musical development.
• Anita Kerr was one of the architects of the Nashville Sound, the production phenomenon which re-invented the country music in the late ’50s and early 1960s. Her extraordinary musical versatility, the wit and economy of her arrangements (sometimes written under great time pressure) and the clean, modernising verve of her singers were essential factors in this historic musical development.
• The Kerr Singers, the all-male chorus, the Jordanaires and musicians of the calibre of guitarists Hank Garland, Grady Martin, Ray Edenton, Harold Bradley and Velma Smith; saxophonist Boots Randolph, bass players Bob Moore and Junior Husky; drummer Buddy Harman and pianist Floyd Cramer constituted the production “A” team; the select group of musicians who – sometimes augmented by the guitar of Chet Atkins – sculpted these records. They did so under the auspices of three Nashville producers; Atkins at RCA, Owen Bradley at Decca and British-born Don Law at Columbia.
• Anita Kerr and her singers worked for them all; three or four sessions a day, seven days a week; grabbing coffee and a hasty sandwich where they could, often while rehearsing the next set of parts in the breaks between sessions.
• Fiddles were out and strings were in. The new formula caught on and Nashville soon began rolling out big national and international hits; Jim Reeves’ ‘He’ll Have to Go’, ‘Only The Lonely’ by Roy Orbison, Skeeter Davis’ melancholic ‘The End of the World’, ‘Three Bells’ by The Browns, and Brenda Lee’s I’m Sorry which topped the pop charts, which although not actually marketed as a country record came to be recognised as an early, but passionate example of the Nashville Sound.
• In addition to contributing to all of these hits, Kerr was there at the start of Bobby Bare’s career and at the renaissance of veteran country singer Eddy Arnold. Hear how her embellishments cushion Patsy Cline and complement Roger Miller’s playfulness. With Skeeter Davis’ ‘End of the World’, she became the first woman to produce an album in Nashville.
1. COME SOFTLY TO ME – Chet Atkins
2. PRETTY ONE
3. ONLY THE LONELY (KNOW THE WAY I FEEL)
4. HERE COMES THAT SONG AGAIN
6. JUST OUT OF REACH (OF MY TWO EMPTY ARMS)
7. CRY NOT FOR ME
8. HE’LL HAVE TO GO
11. MARIA ELENA
12. I’M SORRY
13. I WANT TO BE WANTED
14. HERE COMES THAT FEELING AGAIN
15. THE REBEL JOHNNY YUMA
16. REMEMBER THE ALAMO
17. BALLAD OF BOOT HILL
19. SLOWLY – Ann-Margret
20. IN THE SUMMERTIME (YOU DON’T WANT MY LOVE)
21. WHENTWO WORLDS COLLIDE
22. FAIR SWISS MAIDEN
23. CUTE LITTLE GIRLS
24. THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR
25. FIREBALL MAIL
26. THREE BELLS (LES TRIOS CLOCHES)
27. BLUE CHRISTMAS
28. WHAT A FOOL I WAS
29. DON’T ROB ANOTHER MAN’S CASTLE
30. SHAME ON ME – Bobby Bare
31. A LITTLE BITTY TEAR – Burl Ives
32. SAN ANTONIO ROSE – Floyd Cramer
33. THE END OF THE WORLD – Skeeter Davis
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