AUK’s Chain Gang: Vera Lynn “Try A Little Kindness”

“Cliffs of Dover” in last week’s chain looked suspiciously like a challenge for the next link. Not wishing to shirk such a test, here goes, although this could be the last you ever hear from this correspondent.

Very conveniently, ‘Cliffs of Dover’ is a song on Trapper Schoepp’s latest album, ‘Siren Songs’ but reviewed by John Jenkins and referred to specifically in Martin Johnson’s interview with Schoepp, this has been covered already. The only other ‘ Cliffs of Dover’ that springs immediately to mind is Vera Lynn’s signature tune. Ok, trying to pass off ‘(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover’ as in any way relevant to this site is a stretch but a search of her discography rather surprisingly threw up a record she made in 1977, ‘Vera Lynn In Nashville’. It is country of its time so perhaps not to everyone’s taste here. But it is a link and she does have a go at singing country.

The origins of this album are obscure. One explanation is how popular music flowed both ways across the Atlantic mixing British “easy listening” with the “Nashville Sound”. But whatever her motives she got the top backing group in town, The Jordanaires.

Formed in 1948 this vocal group could turn their hand to gospel, country and rock and roll. Their break came in 1955 when performing with Eddy Arnold they were approached by a young unknown singer who asked them to be his backing singers should he ever secure a recording contract. That was Elvis Presley with whom The Jordanaires worked on record, film and live. From Springfield, Missouri, the original line-up of Bill and Monty Matthews, Bob Hubbard, and Culley Holt changed many times as they backed just about every big country singer from the 50s to early 80s including Patsy Cline, Marty Robbins, Ricky Nelson and Johnny Cash.

If anyone is still with me, the selection from the album is ‘Try A Little Kindness’ written by Curt Sapaugh and Bobby Austin. Recorded by many, the song is most associated with Glen Campbell. But from the opening pedal steel, Vera’s version is a fine example of late 1970s country. If she does sound a bit English rose, the crooning Jordanaires root the song firmly in Nashville where it belongs.

I’ll get my coat….

About Lyndon Bolton 140 Articles
Writing about americana, country, blues, folk and all stops in between
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Jonathan Aird

Bold Choice!

I might have gone White Cliffs of Dover to We’ll Meet Again which The Byrds closed Mr Tamourine Man with. And then any pick from that album. Don’t know which one, but don’t doubt yourself you’d feel a whole lot better.

All I really want to do is tell Vera it’s no use, you won’t have to cry, but I’d like to be here without you….