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Bear Family's ongoing series of country chart hits Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music proves that 1964 was a year when various strains of the tradition were widely active. While countrypolitan was making real inroads into crossing over to a wider audience both in America and abroad, it hadn't completely replaced rootsier, grittier, and farther-reaching aspects of the music, which all made the charts. The proof is in the track selection here, which includes Roger Miller's "Dang Me" and "Chug-A-Lug," Johnny Cash's reading of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe," Bobby Bare's version of "Four Strong Winds," and "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," offered here by both Cash and its author, Peter La Farge. The Bakersfield sound also made deep impressions on the country charts with Buck Owens' "My Heart Skips a Beat" and Merle Haggard's "Sing a Sad Song." Speaking of sad, fans of country music mourned the passing of two of its greatest stars in Jim Reeves, whose 1962 smash "Welcome to My World" was re-released to renewed chart success, and Patsy Cline, whose final session produced "He Called Me Baby," which made the Top 40. Other notables for the year included Lefty Frizzell's "Saginaw, Michigan," Ray Price's "Burning Memories," and George Jones' "The Race Is On," though tracks by Connie Smith, Porter Wagoner, Warner Mack, Loretta Lynn, Stonewall Jackson, Dottie West, and Webb Pierce are also included. This set includes BF's typically excellent remastered sound, exhaustive discographical annotation, and fine liner notes, making it a must for fans of historical country music.