Greatest Country Songs Ever Written

tery

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I had a Clayton Delaney in my life, with a few differences...

He was a non-compliant diabetic on top of the drinking and other forms of chemical abuse.

He had a quadruple bypass at 40...died of a massive heart attack at 44...

Boy, could he play and sing.

There was a Clayton Delany in my life too, he shot a stranger in a bar at 11 AM because he didn't like him.
 
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JIMMY JAZZMAN

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Before Willie Nelson’s own recording career took off, he earned songwriter royalties from other people’s records. So, he had to go around Nashville from singer to singer to get them to record his songs.

Willie told this story on VH1 Storytellers a number of years ago:

One of the best songs he wrote was “Stupid.” You know how, when you do something stupid, and instead of saying a curse word, you say the word “stupid”? You say “stu” on one pitch and “pid” somewhat lower. Like a musical interval of a 6th. And that’s how this song began. It sounded like a person speaking a disgusted “stupid.” But it actually sets the pitch and key of the song. Willie’s a genius!

But nobody wanted to record Willie’s song “Stupid.” It turns out he was fishin’ buddies with with Patsy Cline’s husband. He was able to approach Patsy with his song. She told him the problem with the song was the word “stupid” itself. Willie said that “stupid” is not “euphonious,” which means it doesn’t make the singer’s voice sound good. In other words, “stupid” is not resonant.

So, desperate to get the song recorded, he suggested that they maybe use some other word, like, I don’t know, “Crazy.” So that’s what they went with.

They kept the descending 6th interval at the beginning of “Crazy.”

Big hit.
Great story, love the song.
 

suthol

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Pick pretty much anything form the Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Don Williams or Dolly songbooks and you've pretty much got it covered.

Honourable mention to Guy Clark
 

zook

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Okay, Here's a rant about answer songs!

Firstly, Hank Thompson's song describes her behavior, nothing more. Kitty Wells says it's all men's fault. Bullsh*t.

She's simply making excuses for her bad behavior. It's like saying: "If you had a husband of mine you'd screw around too", or: "If you had a wife like mine, you'd drink too."

It's not a great song, It was an opportunity to make some money.
 

haggardfan1

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Goodness, I thought of another one.

"Don't Cry Joanie", by Conway Twitty and his daughter.

I don't know why, but that song hits me right in the heart.
My bandleader calls his wife up occasionally to sing it as a duet at gigs, and it makes my eyes leak.
Don't judge me because I'm getting soft in my slightly late middle age!
 

zook

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This is a fantastic thread, but a tough decision.

First, "He Stopped Loving Her Today".
To paraphrase a quote from a Merle Haggard interview, it sounded good when first released, and it'll still sound good a hundred years from now.

Few of us have been able to mention only one, so here goes.
"What's Your Mama's Name ". One of the great story telling songs.

"Texas In My Rearview Mirror". Mac Davis captured a perfect blend of intelligent lyrics, catchy tune, and foot tapping rhythm....it's amazingly well constructed. I never get tired of hearing it.

"Faded Love". The fiddle national anthem.

No one has mentioned any instrumentals that I noticed, so I'll throw in Maidens Prayer and Buckaroo.

My father's favorite song, "Green Green Grass of Home".

I've been asked dozens of times since I started doing Haggard tribute shows, what my favorite song of his is.... I'm going to have to say "Kern River".
Here's a couple reasons why. It's not only about the girlfriend dying, there's a lot of California packed into the song. I am no more a Californian than Merle was an Okie; but it doesn't keep me from relating.

When I had my own band, my drummer had lived in Porterville, CA for a while. He always got misty eyed when we did the song.

Fun fact: I once got us a $100 tip for singing Kern River as a request. One never forgets those moments onstage.
Judy Hall, who was Merle's contemporary and played with many over the year's, told the us at the "Sideman Jamboree" (look it up) (She had an RV Park in Bowie AZ) the story about that song. Apparently in real life, it actually happened, but it wasn't a woman who drowned, it was a horse.
 

loopfinding

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Okay, Here's a rant about answer songs!

Firstly, Hank Thompson's song describes her behavior, nothing more. Kitty Wells says it's all men's fault. Bullsh*t.

She's simply making excuses for her bad behavior. It's like saying: "If you had a husband of mine you'd screw around too", or: "If you had a wife like mine, you'd drink too."

It's not a great song, It was an opportunity to make some money.

It was released at a time where men taking mistresses/having affairs was pretty commonplace and way more tolerated (and not very tolerated at all from women). I’m sure many of those guys were nodding along to wild side of life. So it was sort of just like an “F you” track, more than anything.
 

zook

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It was released at a time where men taking mistresses was pretty commonplace/way more acceptable for husbands to mess around on their wives than vice versa. And I’m sure many of those guys were nodding along to wild side of life. So it was sort of just like an “F you” track, more than anything.
I suppose, but I still don't like the fact that she points the finger of blame. It's an explanation perhaps, but not a valid reason.
 

loopfinding

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I suppose, but I still don't like the fact that she points the finger of blame. It's an explanation perhaps, but not a valid reason.

It also paved the way for other female stars and for them to write songs calling out cheating men...weren’t too many of those songs talking about that from that perspective in those days.
 

buster poser

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It also paved the way for other female stars and for them to write songs calling out cheating men...weren’t too many of those songs talking about that from that perspective in those days.
Yeah man, game changer of a track. Love that one. Hard to imagine the careers of Loretta, Patsy, Tammy without it.
 




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