Rex Allen – America’s Last Singing Cowboy. Review By Oj Sikes

Rex Allen CD cover
Rex Allen CD cover

Rex Allen – America’s Last Singing Cowboy

Country Rewind Records CRR – 214

Just when we thought there were no more treasures to discover from our Western music heritage, Rex Allen, Jr. found 15 of his dad’s old, in some cases “lost,” recordings, largely done for radio back in the 50s when he was at the peak of his popularity as a singing movie cowboy. At least 4 were recorded with the Sons of the Pioneers when they appeared together on shows for the U.S. Navy, and one of those, “Blue Dream,” is one of my all-time Rex Allen favorites. He also recorded it commercially, but in my view, this version is far superior to the commercial record. You may recognize the Farr brothers on this one and “There’s a Blue Sky Way Out Yonder,” “All Cried Out” and “Money, Marbles and Chalk.”

The album opens with a superb rendition of “Texas Plains,” which includes an amazing fiddle solo, probably by Wade Ray, who worked with Rex in movies and on the road for may years. Other songs include titles Rex also recorded commercially for Decca, Buena Vista and Mercury in the 50s and early 60s, but frankly, I prefer these versions, including a wonderful rendition of “Cowboy’s Lament.” It’s also good to hear several songs Rex used as his theme songs over the years.

In many cases, the source recordings contained background/surface noise, but all of these tracks have been carefully cleaned up, using the most modern equipment, and the audio is fantastic. This CD is, indeed, a real treasure. As Rex Jr. says, “The world needs to hear these songs.”

Available from countryrewind.com

O.J Sikes
osikes@nj.rr.com




Track List

1. Texas Plains – Stuart Hamblen
2. Lazy River – Hoagy Carmichael, Sidney Arodin
3. My Swiss Moonlight Lullaby (Strollin’ Along) – Wilf Carter
4. I Can’t Stop Loving You – Don Gibson
5. There’s A Blue Sky Way Up Yonder – Fred Hall, Bert Van Cleve, Arthur Fields
6. The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine – Ballard Mac Donald, Harry Carroll
7. Highways Are Happy Ways – Harry Harris, Tommie Malie, Larry Shay
8. Blue Dream – Boudleaux Bryant, Felice Bryant
9. Money Marbles and Chalk – Pop Eckler
10. Blue Light Waltz – Al Hoffman, Dick Manning
11. All Cried Out – Rex Allen
12. This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
13. Streets of Laredo – Marty Robbins
14. Son Don’t Go Near The Indians – Novalee and Lorene Mann
15. This Old House – Stuart Hamblen