Sid Selvidge's Classic 'The Cold of The Morning' To Be Re-Released on Omnivore Recordings

Sid Selvidge’s The Cold Of The Morning is a mid-’70s Memphis classic that almost never saw the light of day. Selvidge and producer Jim Dickinson (Big Star, Ry Cooder, The Replacements) created this 12-track song cycle live in the studio in 1975, with Selvidge on vocals and guitar, plus Dickinson on piano with Memphis’ iconic Mudboy and the Neutrons on two tracks. The cover photo was by William Eggleston. The record seemed destined for greatness.

But when Peabody Records’ benefactor decided not to put it out at the last minute, he gave the rights to the recently pressed LP to Selvidge, who drove down to the plant, loaded up his car and distributed the discs himself. The album eventually found its way into regional stores and the national press, even reaching the Cashbox charts; this was enough to take Selvidge to New York. But life intervened, and bigger record deals were not in the cards.

On March 11, 2014, Omnivore Recordings will issue this indelible piece of the Memphis music canon on CD (unavailable for more than two decades and with newly discovered bonus tracks) and on LP for the first time since its original release. The LP, the initial run of which will be pressed on blue vinyl, will contain a download card for the entire album plus bonus tracks.

Co-produced by Sid’s son, Steve (The Hold Steady), The Cold Of The Morning has been expanded to include six previously unissued tracks from the original sessions. (The CD/digital contains the full 18-track playlist; the LP has the original 12 tracks with a download card for the full 18 songs.) Consisting of originals, blues standards, and Broadway classics, the record is not only a snapshot of a time and place, but of Selvidge himself. The package includes rare photographs and an in-depth essay by Bob Mehr of Memphis’ Commercial Appeal.

Selvidge would eventually turn Peabody into a boutique label, issuing records by Cybil Shepherd, and even Alex Chilton’s solo debut, Like Flies on Sherbert. He continued to record, releasing a 1993 album on Elektra and a triumphant swan song, I Should Be Blue, in 2010. The Greenville, Miss. native and former DJ also co-founded the syndicated Beale Street Caravan radio program, beaming the influential music of Memphis to the world.

But it all began on The Cold Of The Morning. “He said, ‘Look, I’ve made my classic record,” recalls his son, Steve. “It was almost like he was apart from it. It really was the perfect capturing of the perfect moment, and it made for his most perfect statement.”

Here's a wonderful preview to get you going. "Miss the Mississippi and You."

  • Track Listing:
  • 1. I’ve Got A Secret (Didn’t We Shake Sugaree)
  • 2. Frank’s Tune
  • 3. The Outlaw
  • 4. Boll Weevil
  • 5. Wished I Had A Dime*
  • 6. Judge Boushé
  • 7. Then I’d Be Satisfied With Life
  • 8. Danny Boy
  • 9. Lazrus‡
  • 10. Many A Mile
  • 11. I Get The Blues When It Rains*
  • 12. Miss The Mississippi And You

Bonus Tracks: Included On CD And As Digital Download On LP:
13. East St. Louis Blues
14. Wild About My Lovin’
15. Keep It Clean
16. Atomic Power
17. Wished I Had A Dime* (Alternate Take)
18. Ain’t Nobody’s Business

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Acoustic Nation

Acoustic Nation is written by Laura B. Whitmore, a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, who has contributed to, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.