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Dec. 6: Ladies and gentlemen, meet hillbilly music. To my ears, this Top 10 hit from 1955 by Missouri-born Ferlin Husky out-countrys any record by Southern boys Hank Williams, Carl Smith or Webb Pierce. And more power to him.

This was Husky’s first big solo record, coming two years after his smash duets with a very young Jean Shepard on “A Dear John Letter” and “Forgive Me John.” “I Feel Better All Over” was cut in Nashville in early November 1954, with some good pickers I can’t fully identify. (My ears picked out Don Helms on steel; research confirmed him and fiddler Gordon Terry. The guitarist might be Chet Atkins, but I can’t determine that, or the identity of the bass player who comes slappin’ out of the instrumental break like a house afire.) Capitol released the record 55 years ago today, three days after Husky’s 29th birthday.

Still to come for Husky would be a minor acting career and his huge crossover hits “Gone” (1956) and “Wings Of A Dove” (1960). Learn more about him in this Paul W. Dennis “forgotten artist” essay on The 9513.

Ferlin Husky has experienced some major health problems of late, so here’s wishing all the best to a talented man who made a bigger mark than folks realize today. And that’s a-zactly how I feel.

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