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WADE MAINER 'I'm Not Looking Backward 2-CD' GUSTO-0957-CD

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This wonderful 2-CD set would probably not exist without the direction & collaboration of researcher Gary Reid, who has also been involved with most of the few collector-oriented sets that the IMG company has re-issued (under its King and Starday labels) --it is not an item that will sell like hot cakes, despite the fine music and a really bargain price. Sadly, the Mainers (Wade and J.E.) have not really received the attention or praise that they deserve, despite long careers and many really fine recordings. Wade Mainer's very first record --MAPLE ON THE HILL, for the Bluebird label --was one of the biggest hits of any country artist up until WORLD WAR II broke out. He went on to record dozens of songs for the Bluebird label before joining the new King label at the end of the war. These recordings have never gained much attention, but they compare very favorably to the Bluebird records and there is some lovely music here, with the four sessions (1947, two in 1951, and 1961) accounting for 37 cuts (5 of them previously unissued). Some of the prettiest, most poignant "mother" songs that you'll ever hear came out of the first two sessions: MOTHER'S PRAYERS HAVE FOLLOWED ME, AWAITING THE RETURN OF MY BOY, NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP and DON'T WRITE TO MOTHER TOO LATE. In the second of the two 1951 sessions, Mainer is joined by a good local Bluegrass band (he was based at WPAQ in Mt Airy, N.C. at the time) that included Troy Brammer on banjo, Marion Hall on guitar and Lloyd Burge on mandolin: that session produced nice versions of LITTLE BIRDIE, THE GIRL I LEFT IN SUNNY TENNESSEE, and THAT STAR BELONGS TO ME, all featuring an interesting sound that was somewhere between Old-Time and Bluegrass. The last session (1961) produced more fine tracks including a couple of strong Julia Mainer vocals, but by this time there was little commercial interest in the group and a couple of 45rpm singles that came out have become little known, rare collectors items today. Sound quality is excellent and the 2 discs are accompanied by a nice 16-page booklet with discography and nice notes by Dick Spottswood. A WONDERFUL 2-CD set, and the price is just $ 15.00
Track list:
1-1 Mother's Prayers Have Followed Me
1-2 Vision Of Mother
1-3 Don't Write To Mother Too Late
1-4 I'm Glad I', On The Inside Looking Out
1-5 Awaiting The Return Of My Boy
1-6 Roll My Lady Roll
1-7 There'll Com A Time
1-8 As Time Rolls On
1-9 Dust On The Bible
1-10 Soldier's Grave
1-11 Little Pal
1-12 He's Coming To Us Dead
1-13 Now Lay Me Down To Sleep
1-14 No Place To Lay Your Head
1-15 God's Radio Phone
1-16 He's Passing This Way
1-17 Those Blue Eyes I Love
1-18 Little Book
1-19 Coortin' In The Rain
2-1 Little Birdie
2-2 The Girl I Left In Sunny Tennessee
2-3 I'm Not Looking Backward
2-4 Standing Outside
2-5 That Star Belongs To Me
2-6 Dreaming OfA Little Cabin
2-7 On The Banks Of The Ohio
2-8 My Home Is Down In Dixie
2-9 The Little Brown Church
2-10 The New Bright World
2-11 The Hill Lone And Gray
2-12 Building On That Rock
2-13 My Soldier Boy
2-14 Streamlined Religion
2-15 He Signed My Pardon
2-16 I'm A Free Little Bird
2-17 Home In The Rock
2-18 Sweet Heaven Was There