OST: Any Which Way You Can & Honkytonk Man

OST_AnyWhichWayYouCanHonkytonkManCountry music soundtracks to 1980s Clint Eastwood films

Actor-director Clint Eastwood has a surprisingly rich musical history. In 1961 he leveraged his burgeoning acting fame for a shot at recording with the forgettable pop ballad “Unknown Girl,” a couple of years later he found a more suitable vehicle in a pleasant album of Cowboy Favorites, in 1969 he starred in the film version of the musical Paint Your Wagon and in 1970 he sang “Burning Bridges” for the film Kelly’s Heroes. Eastwood continued to dabble in music, participating in the soundtracks of Any Which Way You Can, Honkytonk Man, Bronco Billy and more recently, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The first two of these soundtracks have now been reissued for the first time on CD.

The 1980 soundtrack of Any Which Way You Can features Glen Campbell’s hit title track alongside David Frizzell and Shelly West’s chart-topping “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma.” The latter was written by a rare pairing of Felice & Bordleaux Bryant with the Collins Kids’ Larry Collins, the latter of whom also co-wrote Johnny Duncan’s Margaritaville-styled “Acapulco” and Jim Stafford’s “Cow Patti.” Clint Eastwood appears with Ray Charles on the playful lead-off “Beers to You,” and the album is filled out with tracks by Fats Domino (his last single, the New Orleans’ tinged country “Whiskey Heaven”), Gene Watson and Eastwood’s co-star, Sandra Lockhart.

Many of Snuff Garrett’s productions have the gloss of late ’70s Nashville, and include string-lined country-pop and gospel-tinged ballads. Domino and Stafford get rootsier treatment, and “Cotton-Eyed Clint” is a straightforward fiddle and steel instrumental. Locke, like Eastwood, is game, but no match for the album’s stars, who rang up seven chart hits among the album’s dozen tracks. This is a nice sampling of the commercial side of the era’s country music, as well as a reminder of the film’s lighthearted tone. Varese’s reissue includes the album’s original dozen tracks and a four-panel booklet with liner notes by Laurence Zwisohn.

The 1982 soundtrack of Honkytonk Man was led onto the charts by Marty Robbins’ top-ten title track, and followed by charting sides by David Frizzell & Shelly West (“Please Surrender”), Ray Price (“San Antonio Rose” and “One Fiddle, Two Fiddle”) and Porter Wagoner (“Turn the Pencil Over”). Also on board are Marty Robbins, Johnny Gimble, John Anderson and Linda Hopkins. Gimble’s western swing, Anderson’s acoustic country and Hopkins closing blues provide the selections least dated by Snuff Garret’s early-80s production. Varese’s reissue includes the album’s original dozen tracks and a four-panel booklet with liner notes by Laurence Zwisohn. [©2014 Hyperbolium]

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