Album: Bobby Bare Sings Shel Silverstein Plus (8 CD Box set featuring 137 songs)
Label: Bear Family Records
Release date: October 2, 2020
On October 2, Bobby Bare will be partnering with Bear Family Records and be releasing an 8 CD Box set of (mostly) Shel Silverstein collaborations including more than two dozen that have been previously unheard.
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.
That Nashville Sound is excited to have one of the new unheard songs to be able to share with our listeners, "There's An 18 Wheeler In Front Of The Ritz Hotel."
“This song is a great example of Shel [Silverstein] being such a visual writer. Most of his songs were like movies to me. That's why I recorded so many of them. I never saw them as poems; they were like watching a movie. I could see faces on all the characters. They were that clear to me. The Ritz hotel was based on a Holiday Inn in Nashville. It's not there anymore and it wasn't one of their fancier properties. Both Shel and I had stayed there. When I was 28 I had my tonsils out and I actually recovered at this “Ritz hotel.” I remember the recording session pretty well. There were a lot of pretty girls there. Pretty girls in Nashville are usually aspiring singers, so we put them to work and got them to sing on the session. I doubt they expected that to happen when they came by to watch.” —Bobby Bare
Born in Ohio, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member Bobby Bare is one of the most iconic country artists of our time with chart-topping songs like “Detroit City,” “500 Miles,” “Marie Laveau” and many more. From country legends like Little Jimmy Dickens and Hank Williams to big band acts like Phil Harris and the Dominoes, Bare’s style was molded and led him to nearly five dozen Top 40 hits from 1962 to 1983. The original “Outlaw” of country music, Bare was honored with many awards and accolades, multiple Grammy Award nominations and wins and an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2017, Rolling Stone named him in the top 50 of the “100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time” and Pitchfork identifies him as an integral part of the Outlaw Country movement in the 1970’s. 2017 and 2018 marked his 60th anniversary in the music business and the release of his studio album, Things Change, and two new music videos. A pinnacle moment in his life occurred in 2018 as he was welcomed back home as a member of the Grand Ole Opry by Garth Brooks.
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.