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Colin Escott

Colin Escott

Colin Escott is the author of several books on American music, including a biography of Hank Williams and the book that accompanies the recent BBC series Lost Highway: The Story Of Country Music.

Larry LeBlanc interview with Colin

List of articles in the library by artist

The Band, Bobby Charles: The Story of Bobby Charles and Bearsville

Retrospective and Interview by Colin Escott, Stony Plain Records, September 1994

BOBBY CHARLES IS one of the great Louisiana records, and there have been a few. It doesn't matter that it was recorded in upstate New ...

Bobby Bare: The Singles 1959-1969

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, BMG International, 2001

AN OUTLAW before his time, a folk singer who never played a coffee house, a rock 'n' roller who gave away his biggest hit. Bobby ...

Brook Benton: 40 Greatest Hits

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Polygram Records, 1990

BROOK BENTON'S music was a study in contrast. The lushness of the backings was juxtaposed against the contained passion in his voice. On ...

Big Maybelle: Candy! On Savoy 1956-59

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Savoy Jazz Records, 2001

RECORD COMPANY files tell the story in a haunting, elliptical way. Let's take 1957, for instance: January 8, fifteen dollar advance; same day, another fifty ...

The Box Tops

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, unpublished, September 2001

IN THESE trivia-obsessed times, it's probably worth knowing that the first Number One hit recorded in Memphis by a Memphis act was 'The Letter'. It ...

Nappy Brown: Savoy Blues Legends: Nappy Brown

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Savoy Records, 2000

INCIPIENT SOUL. There's no other way to describe Nappy Brown. It's true that he gets into the statistic books for a couple of numbers that ...

Roy Buchanan: The Messiah Will Come Again

Book Excerpt by Colin Escott, 'Tattoed on their Tongues' (Schirmer Books), 1998

ROY BUCHANAN broke the mould. Usually the record comes out, then the articles follow, and then the concerts start selling out, and then there's ...

Roy Buchanan: Sweet Dreams – The Anthology

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Polydor Records, 1992

ROY BUCHANAN seemed to come out of nowhere in 1972 when a laudatory article in Rolling Stone was followed by his first album, but it ...

Solomon Burke: Music To Make Love By

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Chess Records, 1998

SOLOMON BURKE'S ultimate triumph is that he's almost as great as he says he is, and has almost accomplished everything he says he has. He ...

Johnny Burnette

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, 'Rockbilly Boogie' (Bear Family), 2002

IT'S STRANGE, THE TRICKS that history plays. Johnny Burnette, now dead almost forty years, would never have guessed that his legendary status would not be ...

James Burton: Play It, James!

Book Excerpt by Colin Escott, 'Tattooed on their Tongues' (Schirmer), 1996

JAMES BURTON CRADLES a dark red 1953 Telecaster. The finish is cracked in a few places and the fretboard is worn, but it's got ...

Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Paul Butterfield's Better Days: Bearsville Anthology

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Rhino Bearsville, 2000

PAUL BUTTERFIELD was a legend long before he ever set foot in Woodstock. Perhaps the first authentic white voice in the blues, his legendary '60s ...

J.J. Cale: Anyway the Wind Blows

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Mercury Records, 1996

COINCIDENCE OR NOT, the phrase "laid back" crept into common use right around the time of J.J. Cale's first album. Nearly everyone but Cale missed ...

Glen Campbell: The Glen Campbell Collection (1962-1989)

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Razor & Tie Records, 1997

ALTHOUGH GLEN CAMPBELL has always insisted that he's a country boy who sings--not a country singer, he arrived at a time when country music was ...

Ace Cannon: The Best of Ace Cannon: The Hi Records Years

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, The Right Stuff/Hi Records, 2001

SPARE, FUNKY, and disarmingly simple. Ace Cannon and Bill Black defined a sound. There was never a surplus note or inflection. These were records that ...

The Carter Family: In The Shadow Of Clinch Mountain (Bear Family Records)

Review by Colin Escott, Journal of Country Music, The, 2001

WITH ENOUGH PATIENCE and old catalogs, you could probably confirm that at least some Carter Family recordings have been available for almost the entire span ...

Johnny Cash: The Gospel Collection

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Sony, July 1992

ONE NIGHT in August 1957, after an appearance on Town Hall Party in Compton, California, Johnny Cash went to the home of Lawrence and Hazel ...

Bobby Charles: Wish You Were Here

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Stony Plain Records, 2001

IT'S BOBBY CHARLES'S personal preference to maintain a low profile. He has famous friends who get twitchy when they're out of the limelight for ...

Patsy Cline: 25 All-Time Greatest Recordings: The 4-Star Years (Varese Sarabande)

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Varese Sarabande, September 2000

AROUND 2:00 PM on Tuesday March 5, 1963, a Piper Comanche light airplane left Kansas City bound for Nashville. There were three passengers and a ...

Eddie Cochran: Somethin' Else - The Fine Lookin' Hits of Eddie Cochran

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Razor & Tie Records, 1998

EDDIE COCHRAN was truly Somethin' Else. He had the look. He had the talent. He had the attitude. He played guitar - really played guitar. ...

David Allan Coe

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Hackmart/Shout Factory! Records, May 2005

"I ALWAYS FIGURED David's stories were about ninety-two percent bullshit, but it made for good promotion," said record producer Shelby Singleton...who knew the value of ...

The Crickets: In Style with the Crickets

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Bear Family Records, 2001

IT WASN'T AN ORIGINAL name; there was another group called the Crickets that had dented the Rhythm 'n' Blues charts a few years earlier, but ...

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Elvis Presley: Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup: Rock Me Mama: 22 Original Hits By The Godfather Of Rock & Roll

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Bluebird/RCA, 2003

"DOWN IN TUPELO," Elvis Presley famously remarked in June 1956, "I used to hear old Arthur Crudup bang his box the way I do now, ...

John Denver: Reflections (Songs Of Love & Life)

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, RCA Records, 1996

NO ONE WAS ever less ashamed of wearing their heart on their sleeve than John Denver. No one was ever less afraid to share moments ...

Duane Eddy: Twangin' from Phoenix to L.A. (Bear Family)

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Bear Family Records, 1994

LET'S NOT TALK about guitarists who can play circles around other guitarists, or about which famous picker influenced which other famous picker. ...

Don Everly, The Everly Brothers: An Everly Brother In Winter: Walkin' Right Back with Don Everly

Retrospective and Interview by Colin Escott, 'Tattoed on their Tongues' (Schirmer), 1998

WHEN ROCK 'N' ROLL ARRIVED, it triggered a three-alarm anxiety attack in Nashville. Many hoped that they would wake up one morning to find it ...

The Everly Brothers: Walk Right Back: The Everly Brothers On Warner Bros.

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Warner Bros., September 1993

SUPPOSEDLY, it was the richest deal in the history of the record business when it was announced in November 1959. ...

The Flatlanders: More a Legend Than a Band

Sleevenotes by Colin Escott, Rhino Records, 1990

AS THE FLATLANDERS DROVE TO NASHVILLE IN March 1971 to cut their lone album, Tammy Wynette was sitting atop the country charts with 'Bedtime Story'. ...

Al Green, Willie Mitchell: Hi Records: That Memphis Beat

Overview by Colin Escott, Record Hunter, July 1991

Long in the shadow of Sun and Stax, Memphis based Hi Records finally hit the big time with Al Green and set the '70s soul ...

Bill Haley: Indisputably The First

Retrospective by Colin Escott, Goldmine, April 1991

It was, as writer Nick Tosches observed, "one of the first instances of a white boy really getting down to the art of hep." ...

Tim Hardin: Poet Of The Interior

Retrospective by Colin Escott, Goldmine, June 1994

THERE'S BEEN a miniature Tim Hardin revival lately. Rod Stewart did 'Reason To Believe' on his Unplugged set, Robert Plant did 'If I Were A ...

Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Junior Parker: Memphis Blues: Sun Rise

Overview by Colin Escott, Record Mirror, November 1971

IN 1950 WHEN Sam Phillips gave up his job as band promoter for the Peabody Hotel in Memphis and opened the studio of the Memphis ...

Ian and Sylvia: Northern Journey

Retrospective by Colin Escott, Goldmine, July 1994

IF YOU came through the '60s intact, you remember at least one Ian and Sylvia song, 'Four Strong Winds', even if you don't remember it ...

Bill Justis: Raunchy By Choice

Retrospective by Colin Escott, Goldmine, June 1990

THE ONSLAUGHT of rock 'n' roll and its impact on the music scene brought forth some strange new converts. Few stranger than Bill Justis. Few ...

B.B. King: The Fortunate Son

Retrospective by Colin Escott, Goldmine, April 1994

B.B. KING'S misfortune is that we too often take him for granted. He has been there as long as most of us can remember, and ...

Carl Perkins: 'Blue Suede Shoes'

Profile by Colin Escott, History of Rock, The, 1981

One song rocketed Carl Perkins to stardom ...

List of genre pieces

How To Start A Record Company: Decca Records

Retrospective by Colin Escott, 'Tattoed on their Tongues' (Schirmer Books), 1998

DECCA RECORDS was launched in the United States in August 1934 when business confidence was mired below zero. If Decca had collapsed, as it ...

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