As compiler of the “Where Country Meets Soul” series, it’s with considerable pleasure that I find myself writing about that third volume, titled “Cold Cold Heart”, in honour of Hank Williams, the poet laureate of country music. As with previous volumes, the track listing blends songs immediately identifiable as country classics with others many may never have thought of as country. The originals of several of the songs date back to the late 1930s, while others are from the present century. The featured recordings cover five decades, but the compilation flows with a smoothness which belies that time span.
We’ve tried to include some new artists listeners asked us to feature, and have also returned to some who provided gems on previous volumes. While the recordings are largely drawn from the well of southern soul, there’s also music from the East Coast (Solomon Burke, George Benson – whose track is one of the set’s highlights), the West Coast (ex-Coaster Cornell Gunter, Little Johnny Taylor and the duo Bo Kirkland & Ruth Davis) and even Detroit (a surprisingly big stronghold for country music in the 1950s and early 60s, and represented by the Temptations and the Supremes). We’ve also been able to clear some tracks that had been denied for earlier volumes, which is always a nice thing to say.
As someone who loves country and soul in equal measure, it’s always my hope that many of you will seek out and enjoy the country originals of these songs, if you don’t know them already. Even if you don’t, there’s plenty for you to enjoy as we take you back once again to the place Where Country Meets Soul.
By Tony Rounce