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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Country Music > Legendary Performances Archive Series Marty Robbins + Tammy Wynette (Shout! Factory DVDs/Country Music)

Legendary Performances Archive Series Marty Robbins + Tammy Wynette (Shout! Factory DVDs/Country Music)


Picture: C Sound: C+ Extras: C/C+ Main Programs: C+/B



Shout! Factory has a decent series of Country Music DVDs arriving with the giants and legends of the genre and two of them are being issued at the same time, though separately in cooperation with The Country Music Hall of Fame. Marty Robbins (1925 80) was dubbed a crossover artist at the time, peaking in 1959 with his classic El Paso topping the Country and National Pop charts, though he had plenty of other big hits on both charts while at Columbia Records. Tammy Wynette (1942 - 98) has 20 #1 Country hits and her legendary Stand By Your Man has endured for decades since it hit back in 1968.


The song received a new wave of interest in the early 1990s when soon-to-be First Lady Hillary Clinton called on the song to show how she was not going to be (read idle, co-dependent woman) if they made it to the White House in one of the most ironic statements ever, though it also opened the great Bob Rafelson film Five Easy Pieces (1970, with Jack Nicholson) as one of many of her classics that were featured throughout that film.


On both DVDs, a compendium of video clips (usually shot on videotape, some of which is luck to have survived in any form) are featured chronologically to show the growth and progress of their careers. Robbins actually had several TV shows, so that was easier, yet the clips can be uneven in playback quality. However, he seems to always be enjoying himself. That leaves the Wynette clips, which includes four duets with George Jones when they were a power couple in the industry.


She too seems to be having a good time and doing well, but you can also see changes in her sometimes turbulent life were wearing on her, despite her professionalism and amazing talent, never hitting a false note anywhere here. Now an underrated figure in all of American Music, her work becomes increasingly profound and vital, especially in a genre that has gone so wrong and backwards since the late 1980s.


Both DVDs feature a 1.33 X 1 image that is weak, loaded with aliasing errors and can be soft to a point of distraction, but it is nice to see these in any form. I hope these are not the best versions of some of these clips, or someone needs to get serious about funding archiving and restoration of Country history of that time. The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is a mix of mono and some stereo throughout, but plays better than the image. Extras include both being inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame, vintage interviews with their respective discs and the Wynette disc has footage of her wedding to George Richey.



- Nicholas Sheffo


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