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Ernest Tubb

The Complete Live 1965 Show – 1998 (Lost Gold)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Ernest Tubb

Though Rhino's 1989 release of Ernest Tubb's "Live 1965" was deservedly praised to the skies, Rhino only released about 60 percent of the complete show. Still, it was a rare glimpse inside the honky tonks of the mid-'60's, with Tubb leading a crack outfit. Lost Gold has wisely issued the entire show on two CDs, re-mixing the original tapes while they were at it.

Drummer Jack Greene and guitarist Cal Smith both enjoyed considerable chart success later in the '60's and well into the '70's as solo artists and their turns on lead vocals (Greene on Ted Daffan's "Born to Lose" and Smith on "I Couldn't Care Less" to name two) make up a large chunk of the restored portions of the "show." Don't forget that Tubb is never far from the stage, though, as he works his way through a set largely made up of requests, including "Drivin' Nails In My Coffin," "Seaman's Blues" and (twice each!) "Pass the Booze" (his then-current chart hit) and the eternal "Walking the Floor Over You." Tubb is in fine form; still charting regularly and his voice as sepulchral as ever.

It was great in 1965, it was great in 1989, and it's great now. Not to be missed. (Lost Gold Records. PO Box 10, Ridgeway, S.C. 29130)