One of the most quietly important records of 1970 has been remastered. Linda Martell’s name will be significant to those who know it, as the first commercially successful black, female country artist. At the time, the economic risk of giving a black voice a contract was negotiated with the rise of Charley Pride; ‘Color Me Country’ would nevertheless become a point of ‘professional conflict’ as patriarchy and racism submerged it. Martell continued to sing, but this was her only release. It’s a fine country album with jaunty instrumentation and a voice designed for the twang; it doesn’t leap out musically, but settles in the genre as a landmark.
A favourite: ‘Color Him Father’
‘Color Me Country’ was reissued by Sun Records.