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Don't Cry To Me : Songs from the Film King of Bluegrass

Thrill Jockey
thrill 145 - 2004

Don't Cry to Me is the companion release to the film The King of Bluegrass, both of which chronicle the life and times of Bluegrass pioneer Jimmy Martin. The film tells the story of Jimmy's lifelong quest to reach his dream in becoming a member on the Grand Ole Opry. Known for his flamboyant dress, crazed hunting trips, and brash behavior, Martin is the rebel figure of bluegrass music. Culled from a variety of sources, both old and new, these recordings showcase the amazing talents of a man who once served as lead singer and guitarist for Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, and helped in developing the "High Lonesome Sound" that is so widely regarded today.

Throughout the years, whether as a member of the Blue Grass Boys or enjoying the fruits of fronting his own outfit, the Sunny Mountain Boys, Jimmy has served as the definition of Bluegrass music. For years he recorded with Decca Records and became a regular member of the Louisana Hayride, the Wheeling Jamboree, and guested on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. A noted conversation piece, his status in recent years as a cult figure has grown, but unfortunately his musical output has not.

Don't Cry to Me should help satisfy both old and new fans as it collects a number of songs from throughout Jimmy's career. The spark for the album lies in the making of the film. A number of the recordings were captured in the last few years as filmmaker George Goehl was recording Jimmy at various Bluegrass festivals and at home. Another batch of recordings have never been released before and came to the filmmaker after word spread that there would a soundtrack or companion release to the film. Both Mike Seeger (half-brother of Pete) and Smithsonian Folkways donated recordings never before released from various points of Jimmy's career. The last batch of recordings are performances that are long out of print, but essential for inclusion as they play an important role in the film.

So, regardless of whether your new to the Jimmy Martin story or even if you've been on board for years, Don't Cry to Me is one chapter you can't afford to miss, if not simply for the last song on the album of Jimmy singing a heartwrenching verse and a chorus of "Time Had Made a Change" acapella in his living room!

*Previously Unreleased (To be applied to Tracklist below.)
ADDED BONUS: INTERACTIVE CD-ROM Featuring Five Scenes from the film, The King of Bluegrass Including a conversation with Marty Stuart, Jimmy playing his first guitar built out of a Prince Albert can, going over to a friends to buy a coon dog, and at home discussing the two kinds of tears - "tears of sadness and tears of joy, I have lived them both"



  • 1 On And On
  • 2 Ocean Of Diamonds
  • 3 John Henry
  • 4 Homesick
  • 5 Sophronie
  • 6 Foggy Old London
  • 7 Hit Parade Of Love
  • 8 Who'll Sing For Me
  • 9 I Like To Hear Em Preach It
  • 10 Don't Cry To Me
  • 11 Poor Ellen Smith
  • 12 Losing You
  • 13 You Don't Know My Mind
  • 14 Free Born Man
  • 15 Brakeman's Blues
  • 16 Time Has Made A Change