I was up late one night and the Time-Life infomercial advertising the Country music compilation showed up on my television set. I reached for something to write with because inspiration hit me. My mild interest made me watch and quickly decide to compile my Top 10 favorite Country music classics.
10 I Ain’t Never – Webb Pierce
This is a very recent entry on the list. Among the songs played in the infomercial that I didn’t know, I liked the melody of this song the most. It’s good enough to rank higher with subsequent listens.
9 Wings of a Dove – Ferlin Husky
I remember this song form previous Time-Life Country compilations. I never heard it in its entirety but I want to.
8 Singing the Blues – Marty Robbins
I know Marty Robbins for El Paso but this too is a recent addition to my Country list and one I never heard completely, yet.
7 Buck Owens
While I was growing up, my father watched any country music television programming he could. Buck Owens co-hosted Hee Haw with Roy Clark. I cared just enough to remember their names. Clark and Owens had a sort of friendly faces and as a kid, that was the gateway for me. If they hosted a children’s show instead of a country music variety show, it could have ranked high up there with Mister Rogers Neighborhood and The Friendly Giant.
While I was at my home-away from home, Death of Vinyl/Nice Music, I heard an incredible Buck Owens cover of Simon & Garfunkel's I Am A Rock. I would have put that song on this list but my love for any Buck Owens earns him a spot here regardless of the song.
6 Patsy Cline - I Fall To Pieces
She is the original queen of Country music to me. It just seems so sad that most of her songs are so sad. I don't think anyone could sad Country music better than her though. This one is my favorite of hers.
5 Johnny Cash - Ring Of Fire
4 Jack Greene - There Goes My Everything
It would be easy for anyone to discount, discredit or disregard Country music. I almost did so when I was younger but learned to be a bit more appreciative of the genre. The lyrics of some Country songs are so profound, it's almost too much to bear. One day I listened carefully to this song and realized it was brilliant and heartbreaking at the same time.
3 Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line
Johnny Cash was probably my first face and voice of Country music. When De La Soul used his music for their debut album, I felt a connection to them that is even stronger today. Although I would care little for Country during my hip hop pre-teen/teen years, I would tell you Johnny Cash is the man and his name twice on this list does that for me.
2 George Jones - She Thinks I Still Care
In the same vain as There Goes My Everything, She Thinks I Still Care is another tune that tugs at the heart strings. Does he really still care about her or not? The clever songwriting makes the question and song all the more ambiguous. Further listening may hopefully answer the question.
1 King Of The Road - Roger Miller
There's some debate as to whether King Of The Road is really a Country song. To me, it is one of the coolest songs, Country or otherwise, ever recorded. I always liked the song for some reason but love the song even more. I wonder how big the song was when it was released. I wonder if it was a monstrous hit. The song is truly classic and probably serves as my representative of what cool Country living is all about.