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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top 10 Country Songs ... You Might Not Know

“Top 10 Country Songs … You Might Not Know”

Take a look at this list of songs from country singers.  They are all among my personal favorites and they all have one thing in common: they are quite older and they do not receive much air-play.
I have been a fan of country music for more than twenty years and I would like to share these songs with you.

With the plethora of music of excellence on country music radio today, many of us may have overlooked or forgotten many of these songs.  Songs from older artists such as Randy Travis and The Charlie Daniels Band may have slipped from our memory or have passed our attention with the rich tradition of country music.

Artists, such as Confederate Railroad and Travis Tritt may have been eclipsed from country music by more mainstream artists.  Although their time on country music radio may be behind us, their music lives on.

The vastness of quality country music cannot be captured with any one list of greats; however, it will hopefully open all of your ears to music which you may have neglected.  As your music library expands, it should include older music as well as music from contemporary artists.

Number 10:        Change of Heart by The Judds
                                Wynonna Official Fan Page Link
                                Change of Heart Video Link

Wynonna Judd’s powerful voice captures the essence of the emotional lyrics in this song.  This country classic represents one of the best of song selections from the duet from the 80s with Wynonna singing at lead.  She also had a very successful solo career.  The emotive strength of her voice accentuates all of the music she recorded.

Number 9:          Jesus and Mama by Confederate Railroad
                                Confederate Railroad Fan Page Link
                                Jesus and Mama Video Link

This song from the early 90s is written and performed in a very traditional style.  The group reached its brief hay-day on country radio around this time, but they released and made the charts with many memorable songs including this one.  With many contemporary singers opting for country that crosses over onto the pop spectrum, the music by this group holds up with impressive distinction.

Number 8:          The Legend of Wooly Swamp by The Charlie Daniels Band
                                The Charlie Daniel’s Band Fan Page Link
                                The Legend of Wooley Swamp Video Link

When the group “The Charlie Daniels Band” is mentioned the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” automatically comes to mind to both country fans and pop fans alike.  However, they also released many other songs of substance.  This song by “The Charlie Daniels Band” is indicative of the outlaw movement of the 70s and represents some of their best work with a masterful musical orchestration.

Number 7:          In a Different Light by Doug Stone
                                Doug Stone Fan Page Link
                                In a Different Light Video Link

Doug Stone was a country music singer who surfaced around the same time as Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson.  Although, his career was not nearly as momentous, he released many songs which fans of the time considered to be among their favorites.  He is among the most under-rated country singers with vocal talents which cross from ballads to honky-tonk. 

Number 6:          If I Know Me by George Strait
                                George Strait Fan Page Link
                                If I Know Me Video Link

When compiling any list of top country lists, George Strait should never be neglected.  His has released a string of hits from the early 80s to today.  His strong voice and emotive style coupled with a prime selection of material is what has made him the everlasting icon to country music that he will always be.  The selected song highlights his strong voice and is a strong lyrical ballad which strikes passions in the hearts of his listeners.

Number 5:          It’s Just a Matter of Time by Randy Travis
                                Randy Travis Fan Page Link
                                It’s Just a Matter of Time Video Link

Long before there was a Garth Brooks, Randy Travis was the singer who dominated the country music scene.  Beginning In the early 80s before the emergence of country music as a force on the American music stage, Randy Travis was releasing material that brought pop listeners to country music radio.  His career includes a number of ballads which feature his strong vocal talents.

Number 4:          Hotel Whiskey by Hank Williams Jr.
                                Hank Williams Jr. Fan Page Link
                                Hotel Whiskey Video Link

Hank Williams Jr. dominated the country music scene with a nearly endless collection of honky-tonk classics.  He exemplified the outlaw movement in country shared by Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.  His time on the country music stage may have been cut short by the rise of stars such as Garth Brooks and Clint Black, however, his legacy lives on.  This song was briefly released in the early 90s without significant air-play on country music radio.  However, it epitomizes his honkytonk; whiskey-drinking, blues inspired sense of country music and remains a little-known great.

Number 3:          The Highwayman by The Highwaymen
                                The Highwaymen Fan Page Link
                                The Highwayman Video Link

Jonny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson collaborated to form the group “The Highwaymen.”  All of them had well-established careers and a rich history of music on country music radio.  This song is mentioned frequently, by those who know it, to be one of their favorite country music songs.  The song stands as a creation of iconic excellence from these legends of the genre.

Number 2:          Dixie Chicken by Garth Brooks
                                Garth Brooks Fan Page Link
                                Dixie Chicken Video Link

The stature of Garth Brooks in American music is almost unsurpassed by his contemporaries in country as well as pop music.  With nearly all of his albums listed among the best sellers of all-time in any genre of music, he is renowned in the music world like few others.  Most of the songs that he released reached number one on the country music charts.  However, one song in particular which was never released as a single is among my favorites from Garth Brooks or by any other country music artist.   The song captures the best of the bar-room greatness that made him a star with originality of lyrics which has made it a classic among its listeners.

Number 1:          Anymore by Travis Tritt
                                Travis Tritt Fan Page Link

Travis Tritt had a very successful career in the early 90s with a brief resurrection at the beginning of the millennium.   He has a strong collection of hits that not only fared well on the charts, but remain epic classics unequalled by most other artists.  He mixes a sound of southern rock and country with blues and bluegrass which help to make him standout as a genius in the world of country music.  While many other artists have many commercially successful hits on the radio, much of his work is also epic in scope and brilliance.  His ballads are lyrically brilliant as well as strongly orchestrated and his honkytonk inspired songs are a shining example of country mixed with blues and southern rock.  His strong, powerful vocals also enhance his music to make his music stand the test of time.

Travis Tritt emerged onto the country scene in the early nineties where he left a legacy of hits of classic stature.  His powerful voice with its impassioned appeal has earned popular success, respect from peers, and critical acclaim.

The song I have chosen to head up this list of country music classics represents the best of ballads by the singer.  Its appeal rings true emotionally in a way that all of us can identify.  It is sung with the singer’s vocal strength and integrity that makes it a favorite of those of us who enjoy the artist.  The feeling with which it is sung is highlighted with blues guitar riffs and drum beats enhancing the emotional appeal of the song.

I hope you have enjoyed this list of my personal favorite “Top 10 Country Songs … You May Not Know.”   Feel free to leave comments and to share songs which are favorites in your collection.  Keep an eye open for future “Top 10 Country Song …” collections.

Thank you.


Jagoda said...

Thanks for sharing your list of faves. I have an eclectic taste in music. The Charlie Daniels Band, Randy Travis and the Highwaymen are on my list too.
Jagoda at http://www.conflicttango.com

Anonymous said...

Most of these songs are fantastic - and I loved them before, but there are a couple I didn't know. Thanks for introducing them to me!! :-)

Rachael Featherstone said...

Hi Daron, I really like your blog. I've nominated you for the Liebster Award, I hope you'll accept!

Arlee Bird said...

Very nicely done. Great some picks with a few that were new to me. You might want to check out the list I did a while back to see how my list compares to yours. Find it at:
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