52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

Special Price and we are still delivering

Recordings of the Month


Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia


Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne


To gain a 10% discount, use the link below & the code MusicWeb10

Tennessee Ernie Ford
Sixteen Tons – His 30 finest, 1949-57

Tennessee Ernie Ford was a staple of the Country charts and rose to become a star on American television – he appeared on I Love Lucy and College of Musical Knowledge in the 1950s. He was a Nashville favourite and the tracks on this disc, recorded between 1949 and 1955, contain 17 Top Ten hits and four number ones.

The title track is actually a Merle Travis composition, but it suits Ford well and was, not unexpectedly, a Country No.1 in 1955. He slid lightly through the repertoire. There is the Vaudevillian Country Blues of Milk ‘em in the Morning Blues – Travis plays electric guitar on this one – and the generic Country Boogie of Smokey Mountain Boogie where Harold Hensley and Wade Ray are the fiddlers but who is the pianist not noted in the track listing? There’s some necessary yodelling on Anticipation Blues where Travis again provides some neat fills on electric guitar – a springy, sprightly, superficial number. Mule Train was a cut above and a big hit – No.1 in the Country charts, No. 9 in the US charts – and soon he was duetting with Kay Starr in I’ll Never Be Free. This was real crossover territory which he cemented with Starr in a fantastically up-tempo Ain't Nobody's Business But My Own – a number best immortalised two decades earlier via the stentorian minstrelsy of Frank Stokes.

By now there were novelty, populist additions to the roster, such as the Starlighters vocal group and the Carr-Hops, who help Ford turn in a truly risible Stack-o-Lee in Joe ‘Fingers’ Carr’s arrangement, for which no penance will suffice. The Dinning Sisters had at least listened to the Andrews Sisters so are much more acceptable even if the roster of souped-up traditional fare and cod Boogie was beginning to pall. Fortunately, there are still gems along the way - Hey, Good Lookin’ with Helen O’Donnell for one and the ever-wonderful Ella Mae Morse backed by Cliffie Stone and his orchestra. Give Me Your Word was backed by Billy May, and pretty elite backing one would have thought, but it offers a strange combination of quasi-concertante piano, odd recording quality and over-butch balladry.

The Ballad of Davy Crockett
should bring a smile to the face and the final track, appropriately called That’s All and just as appropriately written by Merle Travis, has some genuinely witty lyrics. It’s a vein that Ford should have pursued elsewhere and dumped the commercial boogie pastiche, but then there was money to be made in them thar boogies.

Nice restorations and pertinent notes from the ever-reliable Peter Dempsey ensure another fine Retrospective.

Jonathan Woolf


1. Sixteen Tons
2. Milk 'Em in the Morning Blues
3. Tennessee Border
4. Country Junction
5. Smokey Mountain Boogie
6. Anticipation Blues
7. Blues, Stay Away from Me (Feat. Merle Travis)
8. Mule Train
9. The Cry of the Wild Goose
10. My Hobby
11. I'll Never Be Free (Feat. Kay Starr)
12. Ain't Nobody's Business But My Own (Feat. Kay Starr)
13. Bright Lights and Blonde-haired Women
14. The Shotgun Boogie
15. Tailor Made Woman
16. Stack-o-lee
17. The Strange Little Girl
18. Mister and Mississippi
19. Rock City Boogie
20. Hey, Good Lookin' (Feat. Helen O'Connell)
21. I'm Hog-tied Over You (Feat. Ella Mae Morse)
22. Blackberry Boogie
23. Hey, Mr. Cotton Picker
24. Catfish Boogie
25. The Honeymoon's Over (Feat. Betty Hutton)
26. Give Me Your Word
27. River of No Return
28. The Ballad of Davy Crockett
29. In the Middle of an Island
30. That's All



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger