Eddy Arnold Tribute Album, ‘You Don’t Know Me,’ Rediscovers Iconic Country-Pop Singer
An eclectic group of artists has been assembled for You Don't Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold, a CD tribute to the pop/country singer whose phenomenal career spanned seven decades. Produced by punk legend Cheetah Chrome and author/historian Don Cusic, the collection will feature Mandy Barnett, Alejandro Escovedo, Mary Gauthier, Lambchop, Jason Isbell, Bobby Bare Jr. and more. The album is scheduled for release May 14, one day prior to what would have been the Country Music Hall of Fame member's 95th birthday.
The second release on Plowboy Records, following the Bobby Bare album, 'Darker Than Light,' several tracks on the tribute album were cut at RCA Studio B, where Eddy recorded many of his best-known hits.
With regard to the unique lineup of artists, Chrome tells The Boot, "It was too easy the other way. We could have lined up the usual suspects, but we wanted to do something different. It was the first project planned for the label. The Bobby Bare project was conceived after this one was already in the planning stages. We've been working on it for a year."
Once the project was underway, Chrome says the singers started coming to the project's organizers, asking to participate. Even with that, he acknowledges they did not get everyone they had hoped for, but with hundreds of songs to choose from, they had their work cut out for them when narrowing down the list.
"Some of the songs we chose were pretty obvious," he explains. "It's amazing how good the songs are themselves. Eddy had one of the greatest voices ever. We have a little bit of every kind of music represented by the various people who take part in the tribute. We had a list of about 50 songs, mostly concentrating on songs that were prior to his recording with strings. We gave each artist a list of two or three and asked them to pick one, so they got to choose the song they would record."
Because the acts involved, including Herman's Hermits' singer Peter Noone, BR5-49 frontman Chuck Mead and roots rockers Drivin' n Cryin', the album will be marketed to a huge cross-section of fans. Once the CD is released, Chrome hopes to gather as many of the artists as possible for a huge Eddy Arnold singalong.
Eddy Arnold first began charting in the 1940s, with such No. 1 hits as "I'll Hold You in My Heart" and "Anytime." In 1965, he scored a huge crossover hit with the ballad, "Make the World Go Away." One of his hits, "You Don't Know Me," which he co-wrote with Cindy Walker, has been recorded by numerous singers including Ray Charles, Elvis Presley and Van Morrison. Eddy died in 2008 at 89 years old.
"For the last few years, I had been trying to figure out a way to get my grandfather's music to new audiences and I knew that it would need to be a project that was a bit different," says Shannon Pollard, Eddy's grandson and co-founder of Plowboy Records. "With the help of Don and Cheetah, these wonderful artists and the incredible session musicians and engineers, I believe we have accomplished our mission. You don't have to be just a country music fan to enjoy this music and with this record we have proven that."
You Don't Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold tracks and artists:
"Anytime," Chuck Mead
"Bouquet of Roses," Melinda Doolittle
"Cattle Call," Pete Mroz
"Don't Rob Another Man's Castle," Pete Mroz
"How's The World Treating You?," Mandy Barnett
"I'll Hold You In My Heart," Bebe Buell
"It's a Sin - Alejandro Escovedo
"Jim, I Wore A Tie Today," Lambchop
"Johnny Reb, That's Me," Jason Isbell
"Just A Little Lovin'," Chris Scruggs
"Love Bug Itch," Pokey LaFarge
"Make The World Go Away," Bobby Bare Jr.
"Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue," Peter Noone
"Texarkana Baby," Jason Ringenberg
"That Do Make It Nice," Sylvain Sylvain
"That's How Much I Love You," the Bluefields
"What Is Life Without Love," Cheetah Chrome
"Wreck of Old '97," Drivin' n' Cryin'
"You Don't Know Me," Mary Gauthier