Bear Family's three-volume And the Answer Is: Great Answer Discs from the '50s and '60s series documents the phenomenon of answer records, presenting both the original hit and the response to the single. These were songs designed to respond to hit singles, with the hopes that the second record would climb up the charts as well. Answer records were prevalent in pop and R&B as well as country, but on And the Answer Is: Vols. 1 and 3, Bear Family concentrates on country records. At their best, answer records became classics of their own but most of the singles were simply novelties. Consequently, the music here is for fetishists and collectors, but for any country or pop music fan with an interest in the arcane and unusual, And the Answer Is
is a very enjoyable series. Highlights of Vol. 3 include Johnny Cash's
"Ballad of A Teenage Queen" / Tommy Tucker's
"Return of the Teenage Queen," Jim Reeves'
"He'll Have to Go" / Jeannie Black's
"He'll Have to Stay," David Houston's
"Almost Persuaded" / Donna Harris' "(He Was) Almost Persuaded," Kenny Rogers'
"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" / Geraldine Stevens'
"Billy, I've Got To Go To Town," Hank Locklin's
"Please Help Me, I'm Falling" / Skeeter Davis'
"(I Can't Help You) I'm Fallin' Too," and Billy Walker's
"Charlie Shoes" / Jonie Mosby & Johnny's
"The Answer to 'Charlie's Shoes.'"