Big Bill Lister

Texan Big Bill Lister is best known for his early 1950s stint as Hank Williams' opening act and rhythm guitarist and for recording Williams' compositions "countryfied," "The Little House We Built Just Over The Hill," and "There's A Tear In My Beer," which became a posthumous 'duet' hit for Williams with Hank Williams, Jr. after Lister uncovered Williams' original demo acetate in the late 1980s. Lister is interesting for more reasons than that, however. He was an engaging and commanding performer and one of those rare Texans honky-tonkers, but Lister was no dyed-in-the-wool Texas honky-tonker; his influences straddled both sides of the Mississippi, but he was more a show singer than a dance hall musician. Today, he's still active and sounding as good as ever, a half century after he made his first recordings. Lister's raw, uncompromising country music may have limited his success in the rapidly changing climate of early 50s commercial country music, but it makes him a true treasure today. On the Bear Family CD are all of his 1951-53 Capitol recordings, as well as sides he cut prior to his move to Nashville for the San Antonio-based Everstate label in 1949-50. In addition to above-mentioned classics like "There's A Tear In My Beer," "Countryfied," and several unissued sides, under appreciated songs like "RC Cola And Moon Pie," "What The Heck Is Going On," and rare Texas recordings like "Local Yokel" and "This Time Sweetheart."

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