Rolling Stone's Ridiculous Top 100 Country Songs: The Second Half


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One deafening shot in the Great Nashville Credibility Scare, 1986
50. Steve Earle,"Guitar Town": Except for his bluegrass efforts, I doubt Steve ever consciously cuts a track with "country" in mind, but glad this one made the list. I'd bet he was as surprised as the rest of us that country radio actually "got" this and kept spinning it.

49.Louvin Brothers, "The Christian Life": No way to have a list like this without the Louvins. We might've picked a different tune, but this works.

48. Willie Nelson, "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain": No-brainer due to its widespread exposure and popularity. Still, not my go-to Willie song by miles.

47. Bobby Gentry, "Ode To Billie Joe": No quarrel with this.

46. Roy Acuff, "Wabash Cannonball": Iconic. Too bad it forces us to leave out "The Great Titanic," "Great Speckled Bird," and "Birmingham Jail," all drop-dead classics by the King of Country Music.

45. Lefty Frizzell, "Long Black Veil": Can't argue against a tune and performance like this, but Lefty has a half dozen of equal caliber. "I Never Go Around Mirrors" came on the iPod at Poison Girl last week and the crowd actually shut up and listened.

44. George Jones, "The Grand Tour": No quarrel here, although this could just as easily have been No. 4.

43. Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, "Act Naturally": Great song, but Buck has half a dozen that top this. And a 100 greatest list without "Together Again" is sacrilege. "Close Up the Honky Tonks," kids.

42. Loretta Lynn, "Coal Miner's Daughter": This seems a bit obvious. I really doubt the kids at the Stone are all that fond of this one. Political correctness?

41. Townes van Zandt, "Pancho and Lefty": Of course, Townes couldn't sell eight copies of this, but fortunately someone got the tune in front of Willie Nelson, who brought Merle into the equation and, voila, international hit and some mailbox money for a guy who needed it. Showing their hipster cred by listing Townes? Probably. But no one in Texas thinks of Townes as "country."

40. Gram Parsons, "$1,000 Wedding": OK, swerving into absurdity once again. Great song, but you have to ask yourself, "What are these people thinking rating this in the Top 40 country songs of all time? If this one is in, where's 'Dead Flowers'?" I'm just going to say this is probably not the list this song needs to be included in and move along.

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Country music's newest sensation
39. Kacey Musgraves, "Follow Your Arrow": I'd like to know the thought process that went on where a group of full-grown (we assume) music scribes reached a consensus that this is the 39th greatest country song of all time. Lobotomy time. This destroys any credibility this list ever hoped to have; Alan Jackson on line one.

38. Patsy Montana, "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart": Stone classic with a lot of historical significance, given that it was the first million-seller country hit by a female, but I'm not sure this tops some women left entirely off the list.

37. George Jones and Tammy Wynette, "Golden Rings": Classic. Nothing else to say. The utter definition of a country duet, although Conway and Loretta could hang right with the Possum and Miss Tammy.

36. Hank Williams, "Lost Highway": OK, Rolling Stone, make up your damn mind. You list Ray Wylie Hubbard, Emmett Miller and Townes van Zandt as artists even though the songs were actually made famous by others. But here you've listed Hank instead of Leon Payne. So you're ready to admit there really was no plan? Fair enough. (Spoiler: like Lomax said, listing "Settin' the Woods on Fire" above this is terminally dumb.)

35. Everly Brothers, "Bye, Bye Love": Great song, wrong list. If this is on the list, Carl Perkins should be on the list. Technical foul.

34. Carter Family, "Wildwood Flower": I doubt a single RS writer has ever heard this. At least the computer argued successfully to put a Carters tune on the list.

33. Porter Wagoner, "A Satisfied Mind": Killer. Could be in the Top 10. This one wins out by a nose over "I'll Go Down Swingin'" or "Cold Hard Facts of Life."

32. Mississippi Sheiks, "Sittin' On Top of the World": Of course Bob Wills took this to the stratosphere, but nice to see the Rolling Stone kiddos giving the Sheiks a nod. Of course, they probably have never even seen the beautifully recorded homage to the Sheiks by Steve Satterwhite and the Great Recession Orchestra.

31. Hank Williams, "Your Cheating Heart": Arbitrary placement, most likely. This could just as easily have been in the Top 5. Every element of a killer country song.

30. Faron Young, "Hello, Walls": No-brainer, although Faron could have scored with any of a half dozen of his biggest hits.Should probably be ranked higher. Another vote for Willie as a songwriter extraordinaire.

29. Jimmie Rodgers, "Blue Yodel No. 1 (T for Texas)": Bullseye. This could easily be in the top 10.

28. Hank Williams, "I Saw the Light":: Another of our sainted Hank's masterpieces. "Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life."

27. Johnny Cash, "Ring of Fire": Hell yeah. Big Bad John at the height of his powers

26. Dixie Chicks, "Goodbye Earl": Enough already. Love the Chicks, but this pick is just plain dumb. "Traveling Soldier," anyone?


List continues on the next page.


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3 comments
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah topcommenter

Well done Mr. Smith. I would really like to see your top 100. Really.

busgaljb
busgaljb

Glad to see my buddies Arty and Steve mentioned here and the comments are spot on.  As for songs post 1990, I wish there was more interest in Murder on Music Row.

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