In this week's episode we're featuring a hardcore country album from Vernon Oxford: "If I Had My Wife To Love Over" (1979). If you didn't know you were in for a traditional country release from the title alone, it won't take long to figure it out: epitomising hard country music, Vernon Oxford's story is one of genuine hillbilly talent. Despite that talent, Oxford faced stiff resistance, demoralising rejection and continued setbacks on US country radio and it's a crying shame he's not better known today. Somewhat unfortunately (as it turned out) likened to Hank Williams in appearance, stature, style and sound - Vernon Oxford maintained an extremely loyal fanbase around the world, hit high notes in Europe but couldn't get traction Stateside. We'll cover a lot of ground in this week's show, taking you from Oxford's first trip to Nashville in 1964 right through to our feature album's release on Rounder Records and there are some traditional country delights along the way: "State Of Depression" is up there with the bleakest country songs ever recordded; "Joanna" and "Maggie, The Baby Is Crying" are two heartbreaking slices-of-life and "Kaw-Liga" seems a gratuitous but enjoyable tip of the hat to Hank. If it seems incongruous to call a sad country song a "delight", you haven't heard the sincerity and treatment given one by Vernon Oxford.
- If That Ain't Country
- Vernon Oxford - If I Had My Wife To Love Over
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