As Rodney McElrea points out in a good set of notes, it is left to the small, overseas specialty labels to preserve some of the fine but basically forgotten country music that was recorded in the short period of time between the end of World War II and the advent of the long playing record in the late 1950s. While there is precious little market today for the music of Mac Odell, the Britsh Archive has done a service with this release, as it gathers all 26 of the songs that Odell recorded for the Mercury, King and Kentucky labels from 1949 to 1953, and Odell is definitely an artist worth hearing. Odell (real name Odell McLeod) is better known today as an excellent songwriter, having penned such pieces as CORA IS GONE, THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER, A CROWN HE WORE and FROM THE MANGER TO THE CROSS. But he was also a very popular radio artist at the peak of his career, when based in Nashville and other locations, and sold thousands of song books. The material here is of high quality, featuring McLeod’s rich country voice with simple but solid down home backing that includes Don Reno on tenor vocals on at least one of the King sessions (he may be playing the mandolin and/or fiddle parts here too). On the eight fine songs that came out on Mercury there’s a nice combination of dobro (Speedy Krise?) and harmonica, creating a sound that is reminiscent of some of Roy Acuff’s best work. WILD ROSE OF THE MOUNTAINS, RED BALL ROCKET TRAIN, I’D RATHER HAVE GOD and THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER are just a few of the fine tracks to be heard here. Good coverage of a fine artist.