Rolling Stone Magazine Gets Countrified

Written by | June 7, 2014 0:08 am | No Comments

ye haw

ye haw

Rolling Stone has a bit of a problem these days.  Mainstream rock ‘n’ roll music has been deader than Kelsey’s nuts for longer than Rock NYC’s been alive.  The young kids don’t buy magazines.  Middle-aged white people with discretionary income won’t plunk down the debit card to read about the latest Lil Wayne or Iggy Azalea record.  So, chasing a new base of subscribers, the fake counterculture rock mag will now branch into the country market.  Expect to read about the genius of Hunter Hayes before the end of the year.

The rag kicked off its new venture with, of course, a list.  The website trumpeted loudly this week – “The Greatest 100 Country Songs of All Time.”  The specific country was not designated.

As far as these things go, it could have been worse.  There are some head scratchers (Taylor Swift at 24, Neko Case at 84, and a real gas bomb by Tom T. Hall), a few smart left field choices (the Flatlanders, John Prine, Townes Van Zandt), and the usual recency errors (Kacey Musgraves, Eric Church).  Having been in the list game for a minute, people are much more passionate about what isn’t on the list than what is.  Fans of Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, Hank Snow, and Alison Krauss will have legitimate complaints.  Classis like “There Stands the Glass” and “Highwayman” and “Amarillo By Morning” were overlooked.  The Dixie Chicks and Dwight Yoakam and John Anderson have much better songs than the ones listed.  And, so it goes.


Two final points. One, you can see my personal list of “The 99 Best Country Songs of the 1990s” here

Two, if I ever meet Keith Harris, who filled the Ray Wylie Hubbard entry with misguided and condescending comments, the back of my right hand is going to sting for a mighty long time.

Oh, and here’s the only place I know where you can see the entire RS list without endlessly wading through 100 individual web entries:

100.  Welcome to the Future, Brad Paisley

99.  Jole Blon, Harry Choates

98.  Convoy, C.W. McCall

97.  Redneck Woman, Gretchen Wilson

96.  Smoky Mountain Rain, Ronnie Milsap

95.  Old Hippie, Bellamy Brothers

94.  Guitars, Cadillacs, Dwight Yoakam

93.  Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine, Tom T. Hall

92.  Queen of Hearts, Juice Newton

91.  Friends in Low Places, Garth Brooks

90.  Redneck Mother, Ray Wylie Hubbard

89.  She’s Actin’ Single, I’m Drinkin’ Doubles, Gary Stewart

88.  Desperados Waiting for a Train, Jerry Jeff Walker

87.  If I Had a Boat, Lyle Lovett

86.  The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A., Donna Fargo

85.  Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You, O.B. McClinton

84.  People Got a Lotta Nerve, Neko Case

83.  Streets of Baltimore, Bobby Bare

82.  Fancy, Reba McEntire

81.  Songs About Rain, Gary Allan

80.  Wild and Blue, John Anderson

79.  The Dance, Garth Brooks

78.  King of the Road, Roger Miller

77.  Independence Day, Martina McBride

76.  In Color, Jamey Johnson

75.  Behind Closed Doors, Charlie Rich

74.  Passionate Kisses, Lucinda Williams

73.  Coat of Many Colors, Dolly Parton

72.  The Back Door (La Porte en Arriere), D.L. Menard

71.  Mountain Music, Alabama

70.  I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack

69.  D-I-V-O-R-C-E, Tammy Wynette

68.  Angel from Montgomery, John Prine

67.  The Pill, Loretta Lynn

66.  Seven Year Ache, Rosanne Cash

65.  Okie from Muskogee, Merle Haggard

64.  I Fall to Pieces, Patsy Cline

63.  The Race is On, George Jones

62.  Lovesick Blues, Emmett Miller

61.  Crazy Arms, Ray Price

60.  Sixteen Tons, Tennessee Ernie Ford

59.  El Paso, Marty Robbins

58.  Harper Valley P.T.A., Jeannie C. Riley

57.  Springsteen, Eric Church

56.  Before He Cheats, Carrie Underwood

55.  Dallas, The Flatlanders

54.  Alcohol, Brad Paisley

53.  Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’, Charley Pride

52.  Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Flatt and Scruggs

51.  Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash

50.  Guitar Town, Steve Earle

49.  The Christian Life, The Louvin Brothers

48.  Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Willie Nelson

47.  Ode to Billy Joe, Bobbie Gentry

46.  Wabash Cannonball, Roy Acuff

45.  Long Black Veil, Lefty Frizzell

44.  The Grand Tour, George Jones

43.  Act Naturally, Buck Owens and the Buckaroos

42.  Coal Miner’s Daughter, Loretta Lynn

41.  Pancho and Lefty, Townes Van Zandt

40.  $1,000 Wedding, Gram Parsons

39.  Follow Your Arrow, Kacey Musgraves

38.  I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart, Patsy Montana

37.  Golden Ring, George Jones/Tammy Wynette

36.  Lost Highway, Hank Williams

35.  Bye Bye Love, The Everly Brothers

34.  Wildwood Flower, The Carter Family

33.  A Satisfied Mind, Porter Wagoner

32.  Sitting on Top of the World, Mississippi Sheiks

31.  Your Cheatin’ Heart, Hank Williams

30.  Hello Walls, Faron Young

29.  Blue Yodel No. 1 (T for Texas), Jimmie Rodgers

28.  I Saw the Light, Hank Williams

27.  Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash

26.  Goodbye Early, Dixie Chicks

25.  Take This Job and Shove It, Johnny Paycheck

24.  Mean, Taylor Swift

23.  If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Time, Lefty Frizzell

22.  Walking the Floor Over You, Ernest Tubb

21.  Can the Circle Be Unbroken, The Carter Family

20.  The Gambler, Kenny Rogers

19.  Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind), Loretta Lynn

18.  All My Ex’s Live in Texas, George Strait

17.  New San Antonio Rose, Bob Wills

16.  Wichita Lineman, Glen Campbell

15.  It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels, Kitty Wells

14.  Settin’ the Woods on Fire, Hank Williams

13.  Blue Moon of Kentucky, Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys

12.  I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail, Buck Owens and the Buckaroos

11.  Man of Constant Sorrow, Stanley Brothers

10.  Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, Waylon/Willie

9.  Jolene, Dolly Parton

8.  Mama Tried, Merle Haggard

7.  You Don’t Know Me, Ray Charles

6.  Stand By Your Man, Tammy Wynette

5.  Standing on the Corner (Blue Yodel #9), Jimmie Rodgers

4.  He Stopped Loving Her Today, George Jones

3.  I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Hank Williams

2.  Crazy, Patsy Cline

1.  I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash

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