Little Jimmy Dickens is a member of the CMA Hall of Fame; he's a seminal figure in the bridge between hillbilly and rockabilly music; he's been oneof the most popular country performers in history.
This is the only domestic comprehensive overview of his music (1949-1969) available, and so, for serious collectors of country, the CD is essential.
But what about the music? It's pretty terrific, too.
Dickens was a master of many forms of country: work songs, sentimental ballads, boogie tunes, weepy love songs, and novelty numbers. This CD, which includes excellent liner notes by Rich Kienzle, includes them all. The boogie tunes("Hillbilly Fever" ) may hold up best of all for modern audiences, but his ballads ("Life Turned Her That Way") and his personal interpretations of hardscrabble rural life ("Country Boy") are also very fine. Only the novelty numbers and the bathetic sentiment of "Raggedy Ann" (recited to his dead child's doll) seem dated.