Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout

Ahhhh-haaaa! It's Jeffrey Morgan's Media Blackout #204!

SIZZLING BOX SET OF THE DECADE: Bob Wills And His Texas PlayboysThe Tiffany Transcriptions (Collectors' Choice) :: Once every 10 years, a box set comes along that definitively redefines the form by best enabling the experience of contextually listening to an artist's specific body of work. In the late '80s, it was the 10-disc set The Complete Charlie Parker On Verve; in the late '90s, it was the seven-disc set of the Stooges' 1970: The Complete Funhouse Sessions; and now it's this exciting new 10-disc box set which is nothing less than the rip-roarin' roundup of the decade.

Although not nearly as accomplished a songwriter by any stretch of the imagination, popular radio and silver screen bandleader Bob Wills was nevertheless, in his own unique way, the Duke Ellington of country music — a man who managed to transcend and transform the limitations of his genre to become the King of Western Swing. And the timeless tunes heard herein on these platters cover the apex of his accomplishments from 1946 and 1947, a period during which he was influencing such young'uns as Chuck Berry and Clint Eastwood.

The 150 tracks on these swingin' sides are taken from the large transcription discs they were originally cut on. These oversized platters allowed for the recording of longer songs per side, an invaluable aid for any musician who liked to stretch out — and boy howdy, does Wills ever stretch! Along with scores of such country classics as "Milk Cow Blues" and "New San Antonio Rose," you'll hear diverse big band, pop and jazz standards made popular by the likes of Glenn Miller, the DeJohn Sisters and, yes, even the Duke. Plus, the newly restored sound is as clear and crisp as a 1880s Colorado morning.

You can still see vintage archival footage of Bob Wills on TCM, but don't be a tenderfoot: Go online while you're waiting for his next appearance and buy this essential must-have collection now because only a city slickin' dude would dare delay another decade.

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