Oliver Barrett was born in Middleton, Co Cork, Eire on 9th July 1947 and has 5 Sisters and 2 Brothers. His parents had a small band where Mum played Drums and Dad played Piano Accordion. They had no Television so they used to gather with neighbours around an open fireplace singing and playing Traditional Irish music and Country Music.
One day his father arrived home with a record player and an LP of Jim Reeves. Oliver instantly took a liking to Jim's music and collected many of his LP's.
In the early 60's he joined a band in Fomoy called The Zodiacs as a Bass Guitarist with brother Ronnie on Drums. He was with them for about two years then moved on to the 'Breakaways' then the 'Superstars', still playing Bass, then the 'Maurice Mulcahy Orchestra' where he was to sing covers by Demis Rousos,Tom Jones etc, as pop was what was wanted then.
In the mid 70's he formed 'Oliver B and the Carltons, who became quite popular and so decided to make a tape, which they sent to Peter Bardon and Donnie Cassidy (CMR Records), in the hope something may materialise. Oliver was later offered a recording contract and was whisked off to Nashville U.S.A. to record his first professional album, "Yours Love."
Since then he has recorded "Yours Sincerely" and "Is This Me", while his early tape recordings are on "The Oliver Barrett Collection".
still holds a day job where he drives trucks for a brewery, and then
at weekends, he's out performing all round Ireland. Oliver say's his
hope's for the future are "to tour Northern Ireland, the U.K.
and further afield, to record again in Nashville, and foremost, to
keep alive the wonderful treasury of music which JIM REEVES left us."
The album is made up mainly of Jim Reeve's recorded material, such as a wonderful version of "Dear Hearts and Gentle People,".............a track that I have already played many times on the shows..........and "Yonder Goes A Sucker," as well as lesser known tracks like "I Never Pass Here Anymore," "I Won't Come In While He's There," and "Bottle Take An Effect." And who hasn't heard the classic "Memories Are Made Of This," a much covered song, also in the Jim Reeves catalogue which is given a good outing here.
There's also excellent versions of the Roger Miller penned classic, "When Two Worlds Collide," Bob Will's "San Antone Rose," and "A Fallen Star," all previously recorded by Jim Reeves, with the latter, I remember, also being given a good rendition by Bobby Bare many years ago.
Being a truck driver, it's no surprise to find a truck driving song on here, and Oliver does a grand job of "My Moma Was A Truck Driving Man," a song penned and recorded by Jethro Burns, one half of the Homer & Jethro comedy duo.
tracks making up this fine album are a vocal version of the much covered
"Ghost Riders In The Sky," and
"The Returning," a nice ballad
in 3 quarter time that tells of returning home to his future bride
after being away at sea. The latter was originally a South African
song that Jim Reeves recorded in Africaan, but the translation was
meaningless so Oliver wrote new words to it.
If the songs on this album sound like your kind of country music, then make sure you get a copy! Oliver Barrett has a great voice and you will go a long way to find better versions of these old classics from any of today's artists.