White Mansions/The Legend of Jesse James

Amazon.com Price: $19.98 (as of 17/05/2022 13:21 PST- Details)


Product Description

Previously available only on an expensive import, these two concept albums about the Civil War were written by Paul Kennerly, produced by Glyn Johns and starred an unbelievable cast of musicians: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm (as Jesse James!), Eric Clapton, Charlie Daniels and Rodney Crowell among others! This 2-CD set includes original and new notes and an unreleased bonus track.


This double-disc reissue documents one of the more curious careers in country music. Both 1978’s White Mansions and 1980’s The Legend of Jesse James are Southern song cycles that were conceived by Britain’s Paul Kennerley, then an unknown songwriter who somehow recruited a high-profile cast for each. A Civil War saga from the Southern perspective, White Mansions suffers from caricature and cliché but benefits from signature contributions by Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Eric Clapton. Jesse James has more focus and narrative momentum, with Levon Helm, Johnny Cash, and Emmylou Harris in lead roles. Though the albums are more noteworthy for artistic ambition than memorable material, Kennerley subsequently became a successful Nashville songwriter and Harris’s husband from 1985 to 1993. –Don McLeese

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