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Vernon Oxford was a country artist with a traditional sound who found himself more successful in Europe than his native United States. He was born and raised the son of an old-time fiddler in Arkansas, and after his family moved to Wichita, Kansas, young Oxford learned to play fiddle and guitar and sing honky-tonk music. He made his professional debut in 1960 in a club in Utah, then returned to Kansas to play in clubs and at square dances. In 1964, he decided to try his luck in Nashville. but pop-country was all the rage and the labels weren't interested in such a traditional singer. Still, thanks to Harlan Howard, Oxford managed to land a contract with RCA Victor and made his recording debut in 1965.
He recorded and released seven singles and an album over the next two years. Traditional country music fans loved his work, but nothing he released appeared on the charts. Eventually RCA dropped him and Oxford moved to Stop, again with no success until his old-fashioned sound was discovered in Great Britain.
In 1974, RCA released a double album of his work, sent him on a tour of England, and offered to sign him up again. In the mid-'70s, he had his first U.S. chart entry with "Shadows of My Mind." He didn't score a major hit until later in the year, when he released "Redneck (the Redneck National Anthem)." He continued on with three more mid-range hits in the U.S. Meanwhile, his songs continued to sell well in the U.K., where he had such hits as "I've Got to Get Peter off Your Mind" and "Field of Flowers." Following 1977, Oxford vanished from the charts until 1981, where he reappeared as a "born-again" gospel singer. He continued to record and even preach around the country, and remained popular in Britain.
-Sandra Brennan, All Music Guide
Vernon Oxford's best works are here with music from the release of the 1974 double album set that got Vernon Oxford back onto RCA Victor in 1974.My personal favorite is "Baby Sister", which involves the understanding a brother has for his sister that has went down the wrong path because of a man that has ruined her. But there are other really great songs on this album. "Roll Big Wheels Roll" also is a good song about the truckers that travel our great land, and "The Old Folks Home" is one of those songs about a mother that has raised her children and now has grown old and needs help from her children that refuse to care for her for one reason or another. "This Woman Is Mine" is another of those great songs about a man that loves his woman and is very protective of her, and "Don't Let A Little Thing Like That (Stand In Your Way)" is a song about a wife that is stepping out, and the husband is gently reminding her of her responsibilities that she refuses to take. Bob Ferguson produced all the tracks on this album, and one of the greatest steel players in country music played steel for Vernon on all the cuts - Lloyd Green. Top notch musicians for a top-notch album, even if it is not recognized by the chart people. This album features the very best in traditional country music that was started by Hank Williams, Sr., the man who also influenced Vernon. This is one great album and I am sure that you would consider it a fine addition to your collection.
Richard L. White
Post Office Box 23496
Nashville, TN 37202
Posted February, 2003
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