Ex-pat Milwaukee musician turned record producer Cheryl Pawelski is a good ol' rock and roll aesthete. Sure, she's got a house full of CDs out in L.A., but like the rest of us record geeks, she appreciates the power of the object.
That's why she and her fellow Omnivore Recordings co-owners create things like the four 10"s released for Record Store Day this past holiday season. The discs spotlight classic country artists Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Wanda Jackson and George Jones.
They're about the purrtiest things you'll find around.
"They came to be as Patrick Milligan, who works with us as a producer, and I were discussing the CD projects we have on all four artists," says Pawelski, referring to Omnivore full-length CDs:
Buck Owens – Honky Tonk Man: Buck Sings Country Standards (due out Jan. 22)Wanda Jackson – The Best Of The Classic Capitol Singles (due Feb. 12)Merle Haggard – The Complete '60s Capitol Singles (also out Feb. 12)George Jones – The Complete United Artists Solo Singles (due Feb. 12)
"We thought it would be cool to come up with a 'single' in advance of the CD releases, you know, the way God had intended, the single is released in advance of the album to let folks know that an album is forthcoming."
Because these four limited edition EPs – each has six tracks except the Owens disc which has four – have tunes or versions not on the CDs, fans (and collectors, too, of course), will want these.
The covers are great, with the "Wanda Jackson – Capitol Rarities" really taking the cake, the pressings sound really good and they're just so cool that I even listened to four Eagles songs (on Buck Owens' "Buck Sings Eagles") for the first time in decades.
"We thought cool 10"-ers would get more notice than a 7" and then further decided to utilize unique repertoire – rarities, in fact, that hadn't been on vinyl before – and release them for Record Store Day Black Friday which would help spread the word further," says Pawelski.
"So in essence - we thought they'd be great ways to let the world know about our upcoming releases."
You can buy 'em online, just do a Google search for "George Jones United Artists Rarities," "Buck Sings Eagles," "Wanda Jackson Capitol Rarities" and "Merle Haggard Capitol Rarities."
Well done, Omnivore.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.