Skip to comments.CMT picks 100 greatest country music songs
Posted on 06/05/2003 9:08:37 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
CMT picks 100 greatest country music songs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - George and Tammy are there. So are Johnny and Hank, and Waylon and Willie.
But a ranking of the top 100 songs in country music history is bound to contain a few surprises, and the new one by Country Music Television is no exception.
Is Tammy Wynette's 1968 classic "Stand by Your Man" truly the best country song of all time? Should Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" rank that high (No. 6)? Is the Eagles' "Desperado" really a country song? And where's Merle Haggard's "The Fightin' Side of Me"?
"Everyone has personal favorites that didn't make the list," said Kaye Zusmann, CMT's vice president of program development and production. "Everyone will look and say, `How can that not make it on there?"'
The list was revealed in a Wednesday concert on the eve of Nashville's annual Fan Fair country music festival. The two-hour concert will be broadcast on CMT at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday. It'll be preceded by a four-hour documentary about the songs.
The process began last summer when CMT asked music critics, historians and journalists to identify the genre's greatest songs. They came up with 600 titles.
That list went to voting members of the Country Music Association, which consists of songwriters, musicians, singers and other industry insiders, who whittled it down to 100 songs and ranked them.
The criteria were loose. Statistics such as weeks on the chart or total sales didn't matter, Zusmann said, only the "emotional, visceral connection people have to a song."
That figured heavily in the top choice, "Stand by Your Man," Wynette's plea to women to forgive their wayward men.
"It's the prototypical country song," Zusmann said. "It has everything."
George Jones, Wynette's husband from 1969 to '75 and duet partner, said Tuesday that "Stand by Your Man" touched both men and women, especially with the Vietnam War pulling couples apart.
"When you're away from home, it enters your mind, you know," he said. "You hope she's not fooling around, and you're missing home."
Jones, who has the No. 2 song on the list with "He Stopped Loving Her Today," said Wynette's signature song "belongs where it is."
Co-written by Wynette and producer Billy Sherrill, it was a hit on country and pop radio as the feminist movement was taking off in the late '60s, and Wynette took some heat for it.
The song resurfaced in 1992 when then presidential candidate Bill Clinton and wife, Hillary, appeared on CBS' "60 Minutes" shortly after Gennifer Flowers alleged she had an affair with Clinton.
"I'm not sitting here as some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette," Mrs. Clinton said.
Wynette demanded an apology, saying Mrs. Clinton had "offended every true country music fan and every person who has made it on their own with no one to take them to a White House."
Mrs. Clinton said she didn't mean to hurt Wynette's feelings, and Wynette later performed at a Clinton fund-raiser. When the singer died in 1998, the Clintons issued a statement calling her a legend.
Rounding out the CMT top 10, in order, after Wynette and Jones: Patsy Cline's "Crazy," Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart," Brooks' "Friends in Low Places," Cline's "I Fall to Pieces," Glen Campbell's "Galveston," Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors," and Waylon Jennings' and Willie Nelson's "Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys."
Ray Charles, who performs "Behind Closed Doors" at the concert and has the No. 49 song with "I Can't Stop Loving You," said the beauty of a great country song it its simplicity.
"It's very plain, very simple music," Charles said Tuesday. "It's just for the average guy. You don't have to be a scholar or you don't have to be in the elite class or nothing like that. You just have to listen to the music and listen to the lyrics and the lyrics tell everything."
It pains me to say that the Dixie Chimps made the list at #22. G-r-r-r !!
Here's the list:
CMT's 100 greatest songs in country music
Country Music Television's list of the 100 greatest songs in country music, along with the artist who popularized it:
1. "Stand by Your Man" by Tammy Wynette
2. "He Stopped Loving Her Today" by George Jones
3. "Crazy" by Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson
4. "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash
5. "Your Cheatin' Heart" by Hank Williams
CMT picks 100 greatest country music songs
6. "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks
7. "I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Cline
8. "Galveston" by Glen Campbell
9. "Behind Closed Doors" by Charlie Rich
10. "Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
11. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" by Bill Monroe
12. "Amarillo by Morning" by George Strait
13. "Coal Miner's Daughter" by Loretta Lynn
14. "The Dance" by Garth Brooks
15. "Forever and Ever, Amen" by Randy Travis
16. "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton
17. "Hello Darlin"' by Conway Twitty
18. "Country Roads" by John Denver
19. "Hey Good Lookin"' by Hank Williams
20. "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" by Foggy Bottom Boys
21. "Okie from Muskogee" by Merle Haggard
22. "Wide Open Spaces" by Dixie Chicks
23. "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" by Willie Nelson
24. "The Chair" by George Strait
25. "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash
26. "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers
27. "Fancy" by Reba McEntire
28. "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" by Alan Jackson
29. "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams Sr.
30. "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
31. "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash
32. "Rhinestone Cowboy" by Glen Campbell
33. "Always on My Mind" by Willie Nelson
34. "Harper Valley PTA" by Jeannie C. Riley
35. "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" by Tammy Wynette
36. "Will the Circle be Unbroken" by Carter Family, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
37. "King of the Road" by Roger Miller
38. "Breathe" by Faith Hill
39. "Make the World Go Away" by Eddy Arnold
40. "Hello Walls" by Faron Young
41. "Sweet Dreams" by Patsy Cline
42. "El Paso" by Marty Robbins
43. "Delta Dawn" by Tanya Tucker
44. "When I Call Your Name" by Vince Gill
45. "Guitars, Cadillacs" by Dwight Yoakam
46. "Desperado" by the Eagles
47. "Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)" by Loretta Lynn
48. "Boot Scootin' Boogie" by Brooks & Dunn
49. "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles
50. "Independence Day" by Martina McBride
51. "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" by Kitty Wells
52. "On the Other Hand" by Randy Travis
53. "Walking the Floor Over You" by Ernest Tubb
54. "Coat of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton
55. "Act Naturally" by Buck Owens
56. "Mama He's Crazy" by the Judds
57. "If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time" by Lefty Frizzell
58. "Kiss an Angel Good Morning" by Charlie Pride
59. "Family Tradition" by Hank Williams Jr.
60. "Go Rest High on That Mountain" by Vince Gill
61. "Lovesick Blues" by Hank Williams
62. "Don't Rock the Jukebox" by Alan Jackson
63. "Tennessee Waltz" by Patty Page
64. "When You Say Nothing at All" by Alison Krauss
65. "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood
66. "Green, Green Grass of Home" by Porter Wagoner
67. "It's Your Love" by Tim McGraw with Faith Hill
68. "There Stands the Glass" by Webb Pierce
69. "Devil Went Down to Georgia" by Charlie Daniels
70. "Chiseled in Stone" by Vern Gosdin
71. "Don't Toss Us Away" by Patty Loveless
72. "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash
73. "You Are My Sunshine" by Gov. Jimmy Davis
74. "Flowers on the Wall" by Statler Brothers
75. "Strawberry Wine" by Deana Carter
76. "Good Hearted Woman" by Waylon Jennings
77. "You're Still the One" by Shania Twain
78. "My Home's in Alabama" by Alabama
79. "Is There Life Out There" by Reba McEntire
80. "She's in Love With the Boy" by Trisha Yearwood
81. "Smoky Mountain Rain" by Ronnie Milsap
82. "Should've Been a Cowboy" by Toby Keith
83. "Rose Garden" by Lynn Anderson
84. "Please Remember Me" by Tim McGraw
85. "Blue" by LeAnn Rimes
86. "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" by Freddie Fender
87. "Passionate Kisses" by Mary Chapin Carpenter
88. "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" by Gene Autry
89. "Here's a Quarter" by Travis Tritt
90. "He'll Have to Go" by Jim Reeves
91. "Seven Year Ache" by Rosanne Cash
92. "Sunday Morning Coming Down" by Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson
93. "Take this Job and Shove It" by Johnny PayCheck
94. "Something in Red" by Lorrie Morgan
95. "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" by Flatt & Scruggs
96. "I'd Be Better Off in a Pine Box" by Doug Stone
97. "Amazed" by Lonestar
98. "Faded Love" by Bob Wills
99. "Back in the Saddle Again" by Gene Autry
100. "Killin' Time" by Clint Black
Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dallas/entertainment/stories/060503dnentcountrylist.8af2deb9.html
It was the first day of school and the teacher thought she'd get to know the kids by asking them their names and what their fathers did for a living. The first little girl said, "My name is Mary and my daddy is a postman."
The next little boy said, "I'm Andy and my Dad is a mechanic."
It was then little Johnny's turn and he said, "My name is Johnny and my father is a striptease dancer in a cabaret for gay men."
The teacher gasped and quickly moved on, but later, in the school yard, the teacher approaches Johnny privately and asks if it was really true that his Dad dances nude in a gay bar.
Little Johnny blushed and said, "No, he's really a guitar player for the Dixie Chicks, but I was too embarrassed to say so."
Wait a minute. Am I blind? I dont see Roy Acuff's "Wabash Cannonball". No "Great Speckled Bird" This list is garbage!
I’m a little late here, but this qualifies, no? For what it’s worth any list of the greatest male C&W singers would have to have Hank Williams, George Jones, and Johnny Cash in the Top Five or it simply isn’t worthy of consideration. And any all-time greatest female list would have to have Patsy Cline as No. 1 (there’s simply no argument here), and Tammy Wynette in the Top Five. This song by Hank is the essence of C&W. What that man did in his short 29 years on earth makes me absolutely incredulous.
The late, great George Jones. It just don’t get any better. Lamentation, looking back and finding oneself wanting, original sin, longing, yearning; whatever you want to call it, George tapped into our common humanity. What a void since his passing. Short of being Jesus Christ himself, there’s a bit of George in all of us. God, what a voice!
Father and daughter:
George and Tammy:
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