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Floyd Tillman

The Best of Floyd Tillman – 1998 (Collectors' Choice Music)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Floyd Tillman

More vintage western swing and country from the Collector's Choice label, who are quickly earning points among fans of post-war country music for their willingness to reissue music by artists that other labels don't want to bother with.

While Floyd Tillman's great western swing-influenced Decca recordings from 1939-1944 have long been available on a 1991 MCA collection, his '46-'55 Columbia sides have been practically screaming for similar treatment. After all, of Tillman's 10 top 40 country hits between 1944 and 1960, 6 were recorded for Columbia (all are included here). Fortunately, this was more than worth the wait; intelligently annotated and generously packed with 24 songs, including 1948's "I Love You So Much It Hurts," 1949's "Slipping Around" and its sequel "I'll Never Slip Around Again."

Tillman is, without a doubt, one of the most underrated singers and songwriters of his era; a huge influence on Ernest Tubb, in particular, whose phrasing was uncannily similar to Tillman's. The re-release of these recordings (some unavailable for 40 or 50 years) is ample cause for rejoicing among fans of post-war years country. (Collectors' Choice Music, P.O. Box 838, Itasca, IL 60143, 1-800-923-1122)