Greatest Hits albums are a wonderful invention. Long before music went digital and became “free”, the only way to feasibly accumulate the hit songs from an otherwise uninteresting artist was to either tape them off the radio over the course of potentially years or buy a Greatest Hits collection. If you were lucky, the artist you were targeting but didn’t love was just popular enough to warrant a Greatest Hits release but also just lacking in hits to ensure every song you were interested in would be included on the Greatest Hits package.
You were, after all, not a diehard fan of this artist. Rather you just wanted a couple songs that were good but you didn’t want to go buying every single album just to acquire these songs. Furthermore, in a Greatest Hits album you could play the thing and get your favourite songs instead of having to fast forward through an album or change tapes completely.
This is my rambling justification for why I own a Mickey Gilley Greatest Hits CD. I also own one for Conway Twitty which might leave you thinking I have a fetish for well-quoiffed classic country music stars. The reality is, I just appreciate some of the ridiculously catchy and incredibly funny party songs that have long been a staple of country music. Tease me if you wish, but there are millions who actually buy their albums.
Mickey Gilley is a cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis and like is infamous rock ‘n’ roller family member, he pounds the ivories for a living, giant rings included. He is also a cousin of Jimmy Swaggart which is both hilarious and sad. I know he was a stalwart in Branson, Missouri which is some kind of Nashville light. I know little else and frankly don’t care. I do know that he recorded this song and it is brilliant. Oh it’s corny, and probably a little un-PC these days, but it’s bloody brilliant too. Good enough to justify buying a Greatest Hits CD.
So to kick off your weekend and put you in a boot stomping party frame of mind, this is “Don’t The Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time” by Mickey Gilley from the 1976 album Gilley’s Smokin’.