If That Ain’t Country May 02, 2019 (Rose Lee Maphis – Rose Lee Maphis)

Rose Lee Maphis ( Cover LP )
Rose Lee Maphis ( Cover LP )

Rose Lee Maphis – Rose Lee Maphis

In this week’s episode, we’re featuring the one and only album in the decades-long career of Rose Lee Maphis: “Rose Lee Maphis” (1960). Well may you wonder how one is active in country music for over five decades and have only one album to your name, but the answer is a simple one: Rose Lee Maphis was one half of “Mr. & Mrs. Country Music” with husband and country guitar wizard Joe Maphis: the “King Of The Strings” as he was dubbed. Together they tore up the 50s and 60s as one of the most in-demand country music couple acts going and most all of Rose Lee’s recorded output was with her husband, first on the West Coast as popular members of the “Town Hall Party” TV show in LA and later in Nashville after the Maphis clan relocated there in the late 60s. Joe Maphis passed away in 1986 but Rose Lee stayed in Tennessee and into her nineties could be found in downtown Nashville if you knew where to look. Thankfully her one foray into the studio as a solo act in 1960 was a memorable one and the wonderful amalgamation of mountain music, hillbilly and country/western was put into wax (and the history books) by Columbia. Take a listen to the hillbilly pedigree of this pioneering gal of country music with “musical accompaniment” from her late husband – highlights include the plaintive “Release Me”; the jumping guitar from her spouse in “My Curly-Headed Baby” and “Bury Me Beneath The Willow” and her take on the wonderful “Pins And Needles (In My Heart)”.