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Eight-CD Box Set Chronicles Country Legend Bobby Bare's Long History With Shel Silverstein

The set is out October 2nd.

Eight-CD Box Set Chronicles Country Legend Bobby Bare's Long History With Shel Silverstein

On October 2, 2020, Bear Family Records will release the eight-CD LP-sized box set titled Bobby Bare Sings Shel Silverstein Plus, containing 137 songs representing six full albums and a total of 25 previously unreleased tracks. (The "Plus" is a handful of tracks penned by other songwriters.)

Bobby Bare had huge, Grammy-winning hits on RCA Victor in the 1960s, with a folk-country sound and songs including "Detroit City" and "500 Miles Away From Home." He then signed to Mercury Records, started a publishing company, and began recording songs by great songwriters like Tom T. Hall, Kris Kristofferson, and Billy Joe Shaver. When RCA offered him the chance to produce his own works it was the first time in Nashville that a top artist was in charge of his own creative endeavor. Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings heard about this and would demand the same autonomy - resulting in the Outlaw movement, in which creativity won out over business concerns.

Shel Silverstein's enduring contributions to children's literature have largely overshadowed his accomplishments as a cartoonist, playwright, performer and songwriter. With their clever lyrics and catchy melodies, Silverstein's songs - including "Sylvia's Mother," "The Cover of Rolling Stone" and "A Boy Named Sue" - have been a wellspring for both folksingers and country artists. Many performers brought the Silverstein wit to country audiences, but no one recorded more of his songs than Bobby Bare.

Six albums are intact or amended in the new box: Lullabys, Legends and Lies was Bare's 1973 artistic breakthrough; Silverstein conceived the downbeat Hard Time Hungrys (presented here with six additional songs) while America was gripped in a lengthy financial recession; Singin' in the Kitchen features Bare's family; Great American Saturday Night, originally withheld from release and unheard for more than 40 years, appears here with three additional tracks; Down & Dirty and Drunk & Crazy are benchmark albums from the early 1980s. The accompanying 128-page hardcover book features a new interview with Bare by Hank Davis, an overview of Silverstein's life and work by Dave Samuelson, plus the lyrics to the 137 songs in this collection. A detailed discography and a treasure trove of pictures and album covers add to this definitive edition.

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