In an effort to return the spotlight to independent record stores beyond Record Store Day, one indie label, the L.A.-based Omnivore, is jumping in to boost traditional-country music, lovers of vinyl discs and the outlets that sell them.
During the forthcoming Back to Black Friday event, which will be celebrated Nov. 23, the label has opted to offer four 10-inch EPs by a quartet of country icons; namely, George Jones, Wanda Jackson, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.
“Everyone at Omnivore is a fan and a collector, most of us have worked at a record store at some point in our career, and as a label, Back to Black Friday gives us an opportunity to make something that we might not otherwise get the chance to make,” said the label’s Cheryl Pawelski via a Nov. 2 correspondence shared with rootshed.com.
“We love supporting record stores,” she added, “because we all grew up in them and feel that they are an important part of how people learn about music.”
Moreover, part of what will help make the quartet of country vinyl releases so special, Pawelski noted, is that “much of the material (will be) making its vinyl debut.”
Omnivore will officially release the 10-inch discs on Nov. 23, with each serving as a preview for full albums due in 2013: George Jones’ “United Artists Rarities,” Wanda Jackson’s “Capitol Rarities,” Merle Haggard’s “Capitol Rarities” and Buck Owens’ “Buck Sings Eagles.”
Per Pawelski, “Our very first Omnivore release, the ‘Big Star — Third’ (Test Pressing Edition, released on Record Store Day 2011) is an example of being a little extra creative for Record Store Day. It was an expensive release to make, and without the event that is RSD, we probably couldn’t have pulled it off. It gave us that extra latitude to be able to push the creative limits as far as we could go and justify it.”
More about each of the November 2012 Record Store Day releases is as follows:
• George Jones – “United Artists Rarities”: As Jones prepares for his 60-city Farewell Tour in 2013, Omnivore has planned the release of “The Complete United Artists Solo Singles.” Jones had two label homes prior to signing to UA in 1962, and while his tenure there was just four years, it produced hits such as “She Thinks I Still Care” and “The Race Is On.”
Per the indie label, then, its forthcoming 10-inch vinyl EP by Kennedy Center honoree Jones is in a beautiful picture sleeve that presents four alternate versions of UA recordings; plus, two previously unissued duets with Melba Montgomery –“There Will Never Be Another” and “Alabama.”
• Wanda Jackson – “Capitol Rarities”: As music fans know, 2012 was a big year for the “Queen of Rockabilly” on the heels of career-reinvigorating new albums produced by Jack White and Justin Townes Earle. (Music fans can also expect to see her in a forthcoming documentary, “Music City U.S.A.,” which will debut this spring from Semi-Rebellious Films.)
While Omnivore puts the crowning touches on its 2013 release “The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles,” the six-song vinyl EP Capitol Rarities sets the stage. Included are previously unissued versions of songs recorded between 1956-62, including “Step by Step” “In the Middle of a Heartache,” “The Wrong Kind of Girl” and three more.
• Merle Haggard – “Capitol Raritie”s: One of the pioneers of the Bakersfield sound, Haggard toured with Buck Owens in the early ’60s, and in 1965, he was signed to Capitol Records,w which was already Buck’s label home. Omnivore has planned a full-length CD, “The Complete Capitol ’60s Singles,” for 2013 release, to which the “Capitol Rarities” 10-inch vinyl EP sets the stage.
The EP will contain songs never released back in the day, and alternate versions of well-known tunes. All six songs emanate from unique Nashville and Hollywood recording sessions, making this EP a very cool, collectible piece.
• Buck Owens – “Buck Sings Eagles”: If Buck Owens, father of the Bakersfield sound and Dwight Yokam’s primary inspiration, wasn’t already a household name by 1968, the advent of the hit TV series “Hee Haw” cemented his fame. Music for the show was recorded in Buck’s studio and then played back on the show with live-to-track vocals.
That said, Omnivore will issue these previously unissued made-for-TV recordings as “Honky Tonk Man: Buck Owens Sings Country Classics” in 2013. Among these recordings were four previously unissued cover songs by the California country-rock torch-carriers the Eagles that makeup the 10-inch vinyl EP.
For a list of record stores that will participate in Back to Black Friday on Nov. 23, 2012, please click here.