The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music

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The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music
The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music.jpg
Compilation album by various artists
Released 1981
Recorded (all selections previously released)
Genre Country
Label Smithsonian Collection of Recordings
Producer Bill Bennett
Smithsonian Classic Country Music chronology
The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music
Classic Country Music: A Smithsonian Collection

The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music was a multi-volume set of recordings released by the Smithsonian Institution. Released in 1981, the collection contains 143 tracks deemed to be significantly important to the history of country music.

Classic Country Music was issued in eight volumes — either vinyl albums, cassette tapes or 8-track cartridges. It also contained an illustrated 56-page book by Bill C. Malone, a country music historian and professor of history at Tulane University. Malone's extensively annotated essay details country music's history era by era, from its beginnings in the 1920s and commercialization during the 1930s, and its evolution from the 1940s through the 1970s. Included are many songs from the 1920s and 1930s, as well as bluegrass and other related genres to country music.

Significant artists whose works were included were Vernon Dalhart, Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, Sons of the Pioneers, Bob Wills, Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, Eddy Arnold, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and George Jones.

Everything was contained within a denim-covered box, with the name emblazoned on the front.

This collection would be replaced by Classic Country Music: A Smithsonian Collection, a 100-track collection issued in 1990 (and whose liner notes were also written by Malone), and includes songs released through 1987.

Track listing[edit]

Note: All volumes have 18 tracks unless otherwise stated.

Vol. 1 – The 1920s[edit]

Vol. 2 – The 1930s Southeast[edit]

  • "Mocking Bird" – Arthur Smith
  • "Ragged But Right – Riley Puckett
  • "Black Jack David" – Cliff Carlisle and His Buckle Busters
  • "Pretty Polly" – Coon Creek Girls"
  • "Twenty One Years" – Mac and Bob"
  • "She's My Curley Headed Baby" – Callahan Brothers
  • "The East Bound Train" – Blue Sky Boys
  • "Brown's Ferry Blues" – Delmore Brothers
  • "What Would You Give In Exchange For Your Soul" – Monroe Brothers
  • "Orange Blossom Special" – Rouse Brothers
  • "Old Shep" – Red Foley
  • "I'm Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail" – Karl and Harty
  • "Remember Me (When the Candle Lights Are Gleaming)" – Lulu Belle and Scotty
  • "Maple on the Hill" – J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers
  • "The Last Letter" – Rex Griffin
  • "Great Speckled Bird" – Roy Acuff and His Crazy Tennesseans
  • "The Precious Jewel" - Roy Acuff and His Smokey Mountain Boys
  • "Can the Circle Be Unbroken" – Carter Family

Vol. 3 – The 1930s Southwest[edit]

Vol. 4 – 1941-1953 (Part 1)[edit]

Vol. 5 – 1941-1953 (Part 2)[edit]

Vol. 6 – 1953-1963[edit]

Vol. 7 – Bluegrass[edit]

Vol. 8 – 1963-1975 (17 tracks)[edit]