Merle Travis: Sixteen Tons Rare Performances 2
This second Merle Travis DVD collection presents more rare footage from 1946 to 1981. The year of Travis's first hits on the fledgling Capitol label, 1946, is represented by a half-dozen "Soundies" in which a 29 year old Travis fronts both an "all-girl band" and one of hot session players. The 1950s saw Tennessee Ernie Ford's recording of Travis's Sixteen Tons become an international pop hit, and it's creator performs it here on a 1957 clip from the Tex Ritter hosted Ranch Party. The renewed interest in his music in the 70s is evident in six performances from that decade, while an informal duet with his son Thom Bresh, videotaped toward the end of Travis's life, provides a moving coda to this varied collection of brilliant country guitar playing leavened with Travis's blend of humor, poetry and down home philosophy in his songs.
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