In this week's episode we're featuring an excellent compilation on Johnny Bond: "The Very Best Of Johnny Bond" (1998). Strangely, of the seventeen tracks only one was a chart hit for Bond - as such, this week's show turned into an excellent opportunity for a deep dive into Bond's catalogue. A truly versatile artist, after Johnny Bond relocated from his native Oklahoma to Hollywood on an invite from Gene Autry, he found work in the movies and was cast as Autry's sidekick in the Melody Ranch radio show on the CBS network. A recording contract with Columbia soon followed and as country music's sound changed in the 40s and 50s, so did Bond's. From a bluesy, harp-driven sound to proto-rockabilly, hillbilly boogie, western swing and straight-ahead country music, Johnny Bond wasn't afraid to try different styles and he enjoyed a good amount of hits in the late 40s/early 50s. As a songwriter Bond's material provided hits for artists from Ernest Tubb to Tennessee Ernie Ford and several Bond compositions have since become standards. However, Bond's roles as Autry's sidekick and the "hick" character on several TV shows out on the West Coast seemed to dog him, and his biggest sales always came from his comedy and novelty material. A Nashville Songwriter Hall Of Famer and a Country Music Hall Of Famer, this week's show was an excellent chance to mine Bond's wide range of material and prove that beyond the jokester, Johnny Bond was a layered artist with a real knack for a country song.
- If That Ain't Country
- Johnny Bond - The Very Best Of Johnny Bond
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