I grew up listening to country music, bluegrass, gospel. When I was very small, the only rock and roll I new was Elvis. Only, I was too young to know it was rock and roll. When I was about 5 or 6 I branched out into rock and pop, but there were elements of country music that I liked all the way through my childhood, teen years and on into middle age. The following (in no particular order) are some of the artists I grew up listening to, singing along with, liking...
That's The Way Love Goes
Always a classic. There are very few Merle Haggard songs that I don't like. His voice speaks directly to my heart. I think its incredibly expressive... soulful... beauty filled and pain wracked. This clip does not actually show Merle, but the recording is what I am used to with this song.
Now then Miss Pam, you wanna talk about sexy??? Merle Haggard has always been a very sexy man. (but then, I like that slightly imperfect, a little rough around the edges, look in a man.) Besides, it wouldn't matter what he looked like, I hear that voice and I just melt into a puddle.
My mother hated this song. I suppose she had cause, since it's about a woman begging another woman not to take her man. I can't imagine my mother ever begging like that. But I guess some women do. I love this song, not for the subject matter, but for the arrangment. The lyrics are so fluid, the guitar sounds wistful yet almost playful at the same time. And Dolly has the most beautiful voice of any female artist I've ever heard (tho Jesse Colter and Emmylou Harris come close).
Always On My Mind
There are not too many songs that Willie does that aren't good. Such an awesome talent. From "Red Headed Stranger" to "Stardust" to "Maria Shut Up and Kiss Me", it's all good. Sometimes his personal life got more headlines than his artistry, but one day... when he's gone... we are all going to be sorry.
Willie Nelson, along with Waylon Jennings, and Hank Williams, Jr. is a huge part of the soundtrack to my life.
A Good Hearted Woman
The late, great Waylon Jennings. My uncle Donnie's most favorite artist. He even named his son after him, Justin Waylon. The man did so much for country music. Besides being a great singer and performer, he was a phenominal song writer in his own right. I think in his pairings with his wife, Jesse Colter, and with Willie Nelson (who is one of the all time greatest song writers), his ability as a writer was somewhat over-shadowed by the talents of the other two.
Hank Williams, Jr.
One of the all time greatest get drunk, get in a huddle and sing at the top of your lungs, songs. I admit I have done that a time or two in my life. I can proudly proclaim that I know every word, and the phrasing thereof, to this song. Hank Williams, Jr. is just a good time, party like there's no tomorrow, spend your rent money on one more round, kinda singer. I know he's played every arena and stadium in America to tens of thousands of cheering fans, but his music is best suited to a barroom. And I do mean a bar. The kind with a jukebox in the corner, and sawdust on the floor. The kind of place where they have to move the tables around to make room to dance. Anyway... he's an American icon, and not because of that stupid damned "Monday Night Football" ditty.
David Allan Coe
You Never Even Called Me By My Name
"The perfect country and western song". If the man had never done another song in his life, this one would put him right up there with the others on this list. One of my favorite songs to sing at the top of my lungs whether drunk or sober. It's just that good. I have never Karaoke'd in my life, but I think I could do this one in front of any number of strangers. It's just so fun to sing.
Wasted Days & Wasted Nights
One of the all-time greatest Country Music Classics. My uncle Buddy used to make his wife so mad by calling him, "Freddy Fender the Taco Bender", whatever that's supposed to mean. I loved Freddy Fender when I was growing up. This is probably his most well known song, along with "Before the Next Teardrop Falls", but the man had an incredible voice and did many enjoyable songs.