Complete Original #1 Hits

Eddy Arnold

Real Gone Music, 2013

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Eddy Arnold (1918-2008) dominated the American country music scene from the end of World War II until the advent of the rock ‘n’ roll era in 1955. He made a huge comeback during the mid-1960s and continued to record and tour into his early eighties. All in all, he placed 27 songs on top of the Billboard Magazine Country Chart; now, they have all been gathered together into one set by Real Gone Music and issued under the title Complete Original #1 Hits.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 It is the word original that is important, as Arnold re-recorded many of his hits during the course of his life, but all the tracks here are the original single releases.

Arnold had more of a smooth sound than many early country artists, and so a number of his releases crossed over to mainstream radio, which enlarged his fan base beyond the country market.

Today, it is many times forgotten how commercially dominant he was in the field of country music. During 1947-1948, he had the number one record on the Billboard Country Chart for 60 consecutive weeks. In 1948, he sold more records than every pop artist signed to the RCA Label, for whom he recorded.  Some of these early hits were “I’ll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms),” “Anytime,” “Bouquet Of Roses,” “Texarkana Baby,” and “Just A Little Lovin’ (Will Go a Long Long Way).”

As the 1950s progressed, Arnold moved more toward a pop sound. Gone were the fiddles and pedal steel guitars, and in their place were acoustic guitars and a backing male vocal group.  His theme song, “Cattle Call,” was recorded with the Hugo Winterhalter Orchestra.

His commercial appeal declined during the early rock ‘n’ roll years, but he returned in 1965 with the number one “What’s He Doing In My World. Five more number ones would follow including “Make The World Go Away,” which was a top ten pop hit, “Turn The World Around,” and “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye.”

On this disc, the sound has been cleaned up as well as the original masters will allow. There is also a nice booklet, which gives a good overview of his career.

Complete Original #1 Hits is a treasure trove for any fan of Arnold or of early country music. It is a nice journey through the career of an early American music superstar.

Rating: B

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