My Favorite Music about the West
Reviewed by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

This is not a page about country and western music. It is about music about the west. Music with a western theme. May be old. May be new. But to make on this page the album must celebrate some aspect of the West. Included are soundtracks I like and compilation albums I have found. It is by no means a complete listing. But the albums below are ones I like to listen to when I want to be transported back to those thrilling days of yesteryears. Hope you enjoy my reviews. And, by all means, let me know if you have a favorite album to nominate.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. This CD is the soundtrack to the Clint Eastwood movie. It was written by Ennio Morricone. It is impossible to listen to this soundtrack without remembering the movie. The music is sweeping, poignant and quintessentially western. Enjoy.

How the West was Lost: Volume Two. Sountrack by Peter Kater from the TV series. This album has tones of "new age " music. I like that. It is more native American flute than banjo. The album features performances by Carlos Nakai. Somehow, the album is both sorrowful and heroic at the same time. The TV series was told from the perspective of the native Americans. So is the CD. Give it a try.

Lonesome Dove: The Soundtrack Album. Music composed and conducted by Basil Poledouris. Great book. Great film. Great CD. If you liked the film, you will love the CD. It evokes the film perfectly. Very relaxing. Moody. Western.

Songs of the West, Volume 1. This CD has a great collection of classic western music. Mostly by original artists. Nostalgia reigns supreme on this CD. I love it. It features (among others): Back in the Saddle Again by Gene Autry; Tumbling Tumbleweeds by the Sons of the Pioneers; Cool Water by the Sons of the Pioneers; Take Me Back to My Boots and Saddle by Tex Ritter; Big Iron by Marty Robbins; Leavin' Cheyenne by Ian Tyson; I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart by Patsy Montana; Ride Cowboy Ride by Riders In The Sky; Mule Train by Frankie Laine; The Strawberry Roan by Marty Robbins; The Line Rider by Riders In The Sky; The Last Roundup by Rex Allen; The Wayward Wind by Tex Ritter; and Happy Trails by Roy Rogers.

Songs Of The West, Volume 4: Movie & Television Themes. This CD features the original themes from various television and movies about the West. I consider it essential to any collection of Music about the West. Because the music is often from television shows from the 50's, the quality is not always the best. But it is authentic and, with minor exceptions, exactly the way you originally heard it. This CD features the following songs: High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me) sung by Tex Ritter; Gunsmoke by the CBS Orchestra; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly performed by Hugo Montenegro; The Lone Ranger (William Tell Overture) by the ABC Orchestra; South of the Border (Down Mexico Way) sung by Gene Autry; Rawhide sung by Frankie Lane; On the Old Spanish Trail sung by Roy Rogers; Wagon Train by the NBC Orchestra; Ballad of the Alamo sung by Marty Robbins; Maverick conducted by David Buttolph; Don't Fence Me In sung by Roy Rogers; The Rebel: Johnny Yuma sung by Johnny Cash; The Ballad of Paladin sung by Johnny Western; Legend of Wyatt Earp sung by Hugh O'Brian; The Rifleman by the ABC Orchestra; and The Ballad of Davy Crockett sung by Bill Hayes.

The Wild West: The Essential Western Film Music Collection. This is a two disc CD collection of music from the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. There are tons of movie soundtracks on these two discs. Way too many to list. Disc One is 72 minutes long and Disc Two is 73:35! The orchestration is full bodied and magnificient. Turn the stereo up high and prepare yourself to be transported. Essential.

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