Jack Greene – “Precious Memories, Treasured Friends”
By Scott Sexton
Country Music Legend and Grand Ole Opry Star, Jack Greene, has released one of the greatest records of all time. It is full of some of the most diverse songs ever and, with the help of his closest friends, the outcome resulted in some of the best duets to ever be recorded. With nine duets and three other tunes that show off his golden voice, there isn’t any other way to describe this album other than it is sheer perfection.
Kicking things off, Jack Greene teams up with Country Music Hall of Famer, George Jones, with the first single “Two Old Cats Like Us.” From the second this tune starts, it is clear that both of these legends still have what it takes to entertain the world. This song is a tribute to the generation of folks who are enjoying their “senior” moments and loving every minute of them. It starts off with an awesome Jazz flare with Jack and George’s voices blending like fine wine. There is no way your toes won’t be tapping by the end of the first verse. You can hear it in every word that these two are great friends, but to hear them joking at the end is hilarious.
When Cindy Walker and Eddy Arnold wrote “You Don’t Know Me,” they probably had no clue that one day it would end up sounding like this version. Teaming up with Lorrie Morgan, Jack Greene’s voice shines with a light like never before. The lyrics to this track have always been timeless, but once added with these two legends, the whole concept will never be duplicated. As soon as you hear, “You give you hand to me, then you say goodbye,” every listener will understand just how special this duet really is. To say your body will be covered in chills is an understatement.
Vince Gill has always been a favorite among the Country Music world. So, to hear his awesome sound come through the speakers with Jack’s is absolutely entertaining. There are two things in this world that are pure mysteries. One is the story of Atlantis and the other is a woman. Perhaps one will be solved one day, but it probably won’t be the latter. It is great to hear these two voices blend and declare their love and confusion for the opposite gender. Songs like “There’s A While Lot About A Woman” do not come around every day, especially of this caliber.
Now, if you think the other recordings on this record are phenomenal, you won’t want to miss “The Last Letter.” Recorded with Merle Haggard, there is nothing else in the world that will grab anyone’s attention like this one. Their voices each display so much emotion throughout that it is hard to comprehend that they weren’t the writers. Both of these men are full of “Country” class and you can hear it for yourself on this track alone.
Charley Pride has always had one of the best voices in Country Music. It is unique and truly one of a kind. Once you have heard Jack Greene and Charley Pride’s version of “Lord, I Need Somebody Bad Tonight” you will never want to hear another version again. Everyone has gone through a breakup at some point in life, which is why this track relates to everyone. Their harmonies are amazing and hopefully we will see something more with these two legends again soon.
It wouldn’t have been a true “duet” project for Jack Greene unless his former duet partner was somewhere in the mix. Clearly that was something that Jack thought of as well when going into the studio with none other than Jeannie Seely. In the past, they were one of the biggest acts in Country Music and released some of the best music to ever hit Country Radio. So, to hear them once again singing “Waltz Across Texas” was a great blast from the past. If things can truly get better with time, this song proves it. They never sounded better!
Now, for those of you who truly respect and love Country Music, there is a rare treat on this record that will grab your attention and blow your mind. Jack Greene and Larry Gatlin is really all that needs to be said, but when you add in the lyrics of “Bitter They Are,” it becomes a reality of just how popular and loved Jack Greene is. Larry’s voice is so unique and so powerful, but when matched with Jack’s smooth talent, the two fit like a glove. Being a fan of the slower, heartbreak ballads, this title has always been a personal favorite, but this version breaks down even more walls and lets the listener into their hearts and souls.
Sometimes when people are in relationships, they have a hard time coping with the fact that things may be coming to an end. They deal with the struggles and heartaches, but sometimes they just have to sit back and ask the brilliant question, “Don’t You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me?” Starting off with a beautiful fiddle introduction, Jack starts singing about how much his other half enjoys seeing him in pain. Although this song isn’t a duet, it deserves and has every right to be on this project. If there is anyone who can bring a tear to your eye while breaking down your emotions, it is Jack Greene.
Picking this back up with some of the best Western Swing ever, Jack teamed up with none other than the most famous singing cowboys, Riders In The Sky. Nothing beats the twin fiddles mixed with the song “San Antonio Rose.” However, that isn’t the only song you get, they recorded a little medley by adding the classic “Roly Poly.” Now, if you like a little yodeling, you are in luck as well. Ranger Doug adds a special flare for some of the most unique vocals to ever be recorded. When the song is over, you will be hitting the replay button just to hear it again. It’s awesome.
If you ever ask Jack Greene who his hero is, there is never any hesitation when he says Little Jimmy Dickens. The respect that Jack has for this legend is undeniable. So, to hear Jack, with the help of Little Jimmy Dickens and Helen Cornelius sing “You Are My Treasure” is breathtaking. Jack’s voice sounds better than the day he originally recorded this classic and when Helen’s gorgeous voice comes in it is almost magical. Then, when Little Jimmy Dickens starts telling his story of how much he loves his other half, you have to close your eyes to take it all in. The picture these three paint is simply the greatest to ever be presented.
When Jack was first getting into the music industry, he toured the world as one of Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadours. As his drummer, he played “Walking The Floor” more times than could be counted, but he never lost the respect for his friend and mentor over the years. Hearing Jack Greene sing his version of this classic is always a joy. It is a little faster than the original, but that doesn’t take away from its quality. The words speak the truth as the character is crying his heart out over his true love and wishing she would come back home. This song was a great addition to this treasure and it is always awesome to see people pay tribute to the ones who helped them along the way.
Bringing this project to an end is one of the biggest hits Jack Greene ever recorded called, “Statue Of A Fool.” Every time he performs it at the Grand Ole Opry, he has the crowd on their feet begging for more. Hearing him bring these words back to life is an honor each and every time. Singing about a man who considers himself such a fool for falling for his former love, he believes that the world should know by seeing a statue made and named after him. This song is a work of art and although it has been recorded by others, Jack made it famous and still continues to do so today.
When quality work like this is released, there is no greater joy than to share it with the world. We as the listener now have a piece of work from an amazing artist who has graced the world with his music for years. With the help of a few friends, great producers, and some world class musicians, everyone can enjoy “Precious Memories, Treasured Friends.” If you would like more information, go to www.JackGreeneOpry.com . This is a must have record for your collection.
1. Two Old Cats Like Us (With George Jones)
2. You Don’t Know Me (With Lorrie Morgan)
3. There’s A Whole Lot About A Woman (With Vince Gill)
4. The Last Letter (With Merle Haggard)
5. Lord, I Need Somebody Bad Tonight (With Charley Pride)
6. Waltz Across
7. Bitter They Are (With Larry Gatlin)
8. Don’t You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me
10. You Are My Treasure (With Little Jimmy Dickens and Helen Cornelius)
11. Walking The Floor
12. Statue Of A Fool