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May 14-16

Why today? Fifty-eight years ago Saturday — his 34th birthday — Eddy Arnold cut a song destined to join his hefty string of chart-toppers.

About the record: RCA Victor 20/47-4787, recorded May 15, 1952, at Brown Radio Productions in downtown Nashville. Released June 1952, reaching No. 1 in Billboard‘s country chart. First U.S. album appearance was on the CD RCA Country Legends: Eddy Arnold, Buddha 74465-99759-2, released Nov. 7, 2000.

By 1952, Eddy Arnold was reaching the end of his “Tennessee Plowboy” period; there wouldn’t be too many more straight hillbilly numbers like this one. Accompanying him was his old standby, Little Roy Wiggins, on steel, along with hot guitarist Hank Garland on electric lead (quite a performance he turns in on his instrumental break) and the Oklahoma Wranglers, later (and better) known as the Willis Brothers of the Grand Ole Opry. That’s Vic Willis on piano, Skeeter on fiddle and Guy on rhythm guitar. They were part of Arnold’s road show in those days, and they joined him in the studio, whether the sessions were in Nashville, New York or Hollywood.

We heard from Arnold not long ago, but how could we ignore what would have been his 92nd birthday? I’ll be back Monday, when we’ll see what else the classic country calendar has in store.

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