Here at Ace Towers we usually have a pretty realistic advance idea of how many copies we’re likely to sell of any CD that we release. But once in a while we put out something that catches the public imagination in a manner that exceeds our expectations in terms of sales and acclaim. Such was the case with our “Special Country Edition” of our “Golden Age Of American Rock’n’Roll” series, which has already sold almost twice as many copies as we initially anticipated, and which is still selling strongly six years on from its initial release.
Ace’s flagship “Golden Age” series continues to be among our best selling and most highly respected releases. After a short hiatus, we’re pleased to announce this new volume featuring 28 country recordings that made the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1963. As “More Country Hits” is in the “Golden Age Of American Popular Music” series, the content is more melodic overall than a “Golden Age Of American Rock’n’Roll” edition might be. Nevertheless, there’s a generous helping of up-tempo hillbilly and borderline rockabilly among the straight-ahead country to give listeners a bit of light and shade. As usual, the CD comes with a generously illustrated and copiously annotated booklet.
Originally included as part of the exhaustive Unearthed box set of Johnny Cash's American Records recordings, My Mother's Hymn Book is exactly what it claims to be – songs directly out of Cash's mother's old hymnal. Featuring Cash alone playing an acoustic guitar, this is a stark, beautiful, and simple album. In the liner notes, Cash calls this his favorite record he's ever made and it's clear that learning these songs as a child is what inspired his love of music. In that sense, despite no original material, these are some of the most personal songs Cash ever recorded; he even includes song-by-song commentaries that help illuminate what each track meant to him. For Merle Travis' "I Am a Pilgrim" Cash writes, "It's one of those old country gospel classics that my mother sang, that I knew I would record it someday." Of course, Cash recorded gospel songs before this album, as in 1959 with Hymns by Johnny Cash and again in 1962 with Hymns From the Heart and he usually included one gospel track per album.