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Clinch Mountain Echo

The Stanley Brothers - Orange Blossom Special / Lonesome And Blue

(Mercury-Starday 70663) Aug 1955


Orange Blossom Special
Lonesome And Blue Billboard mag. advert 11th Nov. 1957

This 7" is I think the earliest version of Orange Blossom Special to have been recorded with 'bluegrass' style (3-finger) banjo... Modelled on Bill Monroe's 1941 recording, the tune won the Stanley's an award for 'Best Instrumental Group' in 'Country & Western Jamboree' magazine 1955.[1] The award seems a little odd though, as like Monroe's rendition,[2] the Stanley's also included vocals in the mid section and they'd only recorded two instrumentals previously (Dickson County Breakdown and Hard Times).

Mercury advertised the single in the 6th Aug 1955 edition of Billboard, describing it as "Those country boys... with two corn tunes"!! It was listed the following week (13th Aug) as a new release, but it wasn't reviewed.

The flip-side, Lonesome And Blue, is another of Carter's melancholic masterpieces. Ralph also later re-recorded on his Lonesome And Blue LP.

Both side of the 7" can now be found on The Complete Mercury Recordings 2xCD set.

 

For a detailed breakdown and background to the Stanley's sessions, check Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book, pages 50-51, 56 and 72-73.

Track:
Title:
Time:
Date:
Original Release:
Guitar:
Banjo:
Fiddle:
Mandolin:
Bass:
A-1
Orange Blossom Special
02:29
05 Apr 1955
Mercury 70663 Carter Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph 'Joe' Meadows
Jim Williams
Bill Lowe

Ervin T. Rouse
B-1
Lonesome And Blue
02:19
05 Apr 1955
Mercury 70663 Carter Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph 'Joe' Meadows
Jim Williams
Bill Lowe

C. Stanley

Go To Top Of Page [1] Gary B. Reid's book "The Music Of The Stanley Brothers" (p. 56)
[2] Also worth pointing out that Bill Monroe's version featured Art Wooten on fiddle, who spent some time as a CMB and appears on the Rich-R-Tone RRT-418 78, and the 11 Apr 1952 Columbia session.