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Country - Released October 23, 1967 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

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One of two albums Stonewall Jackson made in 1967, Stonewall Jackson Country includes the minor hit "This World Holds Nothing (Since You're Gone)," similar in concept to Skeeter Davis' "The End of the World." "There's No Reason to Be Living (Since You're Gone)" is another wrist-slashing ballad in the set. An air of melancholy surrounds the album because of its overabundance of weepers, for one thing, but also because of Jackson's talent for expressing a range of bleak emotions with his voice. The obligatory covers of recent and classic hits would seem to balance the sad songs -- it's a treat to hear Jackson tackle Marvin Rainwater's "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird," but his version of Wynn Stewart's "It's Such a Pretty World Today" is oddly mournful. Listeners who claim to hear the blues in country music will hear plenty of it on Stonewall Jackson Country with its love-gone-wrong songs and working-man laments. Warning: Jackson's performances put across the gloomy songs so effectively that the album's aura of defeat is contagious. ~ Greg Adams
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Country - Released January 22, 1969 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

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Country - Released July 11, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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Country - Released July 28, 1971 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

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Stonewall Jackson could make "Ave Maria" sound like a country song, so Lobo's "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" was much less of a stretch. Jackson's remake of the then-recent pop hit produced his final Top Ten country hit and probably earned him a few younger fans. The album that followed seems calculated in its mixture of new, pop-oriented songs and country standards -- as though Jackson's old fans needed to be reassured that he wasn't about to grow long hair and move to L.A. Consequently, Jackson sings his big hit and the Hoyt Axton (by way of Three Dog Night) song "Joy to the World," but spends nearly as much time on classics like Jimmie Rodgers' "Waiting for a Train" and Curly Williams' "Half as Much." "Push the Panic Button" is an interesting song from Nashville songwriter Larry Kingston, and "Waitin' for Dawn Till Dawn" is an unusual one Jackson wrote about a girl named Dawn (or Don, as it's mistakenly listed on the album cover, inviting a different interpretation). Me and You and a Dog Named Boo is an entertaining effort that shows Jackson trying out a few new things before falling back on some good old country music. ~ Greg Adams
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Country - Released May 22, 1968 | Columbia - Legacy

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Country - Released August 15, 1966 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

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Country - Released June 9, 2009 | Legacy Recordings

Stonewall Jackson is a neglected figure in country music. Perhaps it was his name, which gave the impression that he was a singer with a corny stage name, when it was in fact his birth name, given to him by a father who believed he was a descendent of General Stonewall Jackson and died three weeks before his son's birth. Perhaps it's because his breakthrough single, 1959's "Waterloo," a record that superficially seemed to be a historical number like "Battle of New Orleans" but was actually a clever folk-country tune co-written by Marijohn Wilkin and John D. Loudermilk. Perhaps it was because that even when he had a bit of a revival when Dwight Yoakam covered "Smoke Along the Track" in the '80s, there was no accompanying CD reissue of Stonewall's best work to help restore his reputation. These kind of contradictions camouflaged his excellent traditionalist country that nimbly touched on folky storytelling, barroom ballads, railroad songs, jailhouse tunes, novelties, and honky tonk, encapsulating everything that was pure mainstream country during the '60s. He wasn't as hardcore as his honky tonk contemporaries, which may be one of the reasons he was overlooked, but as Collectors Choice's splendid 2002 compilation The Best of Stonewall Jackson illustrates, he had a sturdy, enjoyable body of work that holds its own among the best country of the '60s. Yes, sometimes it gets a little silly, whether it's in production flourishes or in songs like the anti-protest "The Minute Men (Are Turning in Their Graves)," but these are the exceptions, not the rule; Jackson could even give Lobo's fluffy "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" a country kick in 1971, even if he reportedly wasn't too happy with the song itself, according to Colin Escott's typically excellent liner notes. Over the course of 24 tracks -- including all of his major, Top 40 country hits, along with his last charting hit, "Torn From the Pages of Life" -- The Best of Stonewall Jackson makes the case for his talents, and it's convincing. He was a straight-ahead singer, armed with good songs and a simple, direct delivery that never wavered. It lead to a decade-long streak of hits that may not have been as fondly remembered outside of the '60s as they should have been, but this long-overdue comprehensive retrospective gives them another chance and any fan of unadorned mainstream country will find this very satisfying. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released August 24, 1970 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

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Country - Released July 30, 1969 | Columbia Nashville

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Country - Released October 19, 1959 | Columbia - Legacy

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Country - Released May 31, 2011 | Legacy Recordings

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Country - Released April 16, 1962 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

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Country - Released November 9, 2018 | Acrobat

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Country - Released February 3, 1971 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

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Country - Released March 30, 1970 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

Stonewall Jackson rarely gets his due as one of the hardest honky tonk stars of the 1960s; there were plenty of acts who kicked up more dust, but few were willing to plumb the depths of loneliness, heartbreak, hard living, and alcohol the way Jackson did when he was of a mind, and his dry, flinty voice was the perfect vehicle for the downbeat songs he brought to life, sounding as if he'd lived every sad, bitter tale he sang and remembered them like they happened only yesterday. Omni Recording Corporation's 2011 release The Lonesome in Me is a sibling to their earlier Jackson collection Life of a Poor Boy -- like that disc, this collects the material from one of Jackson's Columbia albums (in this case, 1970's The Lonesome in Me) and augments it with an abundance of bonus material, adding enough single sides and album tracks to expand the album from 11 to 28 songs. The bonus material is from roughly the same period (released between 1968 and 1972), and while Jackson wasn't having many hits by the end of the 1960s, the music on this set leaves no doubt that he was as effective a vocalist as ever, and the choice of material was impressive. If there are any more doomstruck songs than "Somebody's Always Leaving," it's hard to imagine anyone having the nerve to record them, and "Nashville" runs a close second, while "Morals of a Man," "Thoughts of a Lonely Man," and the title tune are remarkably unsentimental tales of heartache and melancholy. You don't want to play this album at a party, but Omni's expanded The Lonesome in Me is a superb celebration of one of the greatest interpreters of hurtin' songs to ever step before a microphone. ~ Mark Deming
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Country - Released December 31, 2013 | RLG - Legacy

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Country - Released September 23, 1968 | Columbia - Legacy

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Country - Released May 11, 2016 | Rarity Music

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Country - Released April 24, 1967 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

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Country - Released December 12, 2014 | Columbia - Legacy