Does what it says on the tin: "The Best of the West Done With A Swingin' Beat." This 1962 album, one of the few recorded by lounge crooner Pete Brady before an errant tennis racket damaged his throat, is more fun than a brawl in a saloon. Big, brassy orchestrations (by an uncredited Bob Florence) featuring members of Woody Herman's Thundering Herd thunder their way thru classic cowboy songs. Very rural songs given a hip urban twist makes for a pretty ridiculous combo, but one that, strangely enough, was not uncommon. Why? A couple guesses: anything western was very popular at the time. Shows set in the Old West were as ubiquitous on mid-century TV sets as detective programs are now. And swinger-central Las Vegas was still, in the '50s/early '60s, not too far removed from it's Wild West past. Many early hotels and casinos had a western theme.
In any case, you'll chortle with glee blasting such kooky finger-snappin' remakes of the likes of "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds" and "I'm An Old Cowhand." And any version of Roy Rogers' ode to my homeland, "The San Fernando Valley," is always welcome. A tip o' the hat to Windy for this one.
PETE BRADY - "How The West Was Swung"