George Jones. The Possum. Possibly the man whose life and story embody the themes of a country song better than anyone. From rags to riches, back to rags, and eventually onto rehabilitation and redemption, George Jones was a man that faced demons more fierce than any of us can imagine, and eventually came out on top. Was he a badass? You bet, and here’s 10 reasons why.
When it comes to the preservation of the history and sound of country music, you can make the case there is nobody who does it better and with more passion and dedication than Marty Stuart. Tireless and true to his convictions, from his music, to his archive of memorabilia, to his presence on television and the Grand Ole Opry stage, and to some of the thankless things he does well out of the public eye…
B-Bender, Badlands Ballads of the Lakota, Brandy Clark, Clarence White, Connie Smith, Corb Lund, Del McCoury, Don Maddox, Gene Parson, Hummingbyrd, Jim Lauderdale, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Lester Flatt, Let There Be Country, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Old Crow Medicine Show, Porter Wagoner, Roland White, Stonewall Jackson, Sturgill Simpson, The Byrds, The Grand Ole Opry, The Kentucky Colonels, The Marty Stuart Show
Interesting enough, an old photo of Willie Nelson on a golf course has surfaced, with the country legend wearing a T-shirt with a corresponding missing link, and the caption, “Let the Russians play with themselves,” leaving some wondering if along with all of Willie’s other esoteric powers, divination is a gift he possesses. More than likely though, it is simply an artifact of its time.
Of all the country music greats, Merle’s story might be the most symbolic of the American experience: from growing up in California as the son of Okie parents during The Depression, to spending time in prison, to becoming a rags to riches story. When it comes to influencing country music itself, few this side of Hank Williams can say they’ve left a bigger footprint.
#1 hits, Bob Wills, cancer, CBS Records, Escaping from jail, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Me and Crippled Soldiers Give A Damn, Merle Haggard, Pancho & Lefty, Rick Blackburn, San Quentin, The Bakersfield Sound, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson
Okay, Red Sovine only pondered killing Waylon and Willie in hyperbole and sarcasm. In fact by all accounts this succulent little lost country classic was written and recorded as a tribute to the success of the two Outlaw country music greats. And as one of the very last recordings trucker song overlord Red Sovine ever made, it only seems fair to resurrect it now and shine a spotlight on it…
What made Johnny Cash the ultimate badass was his ability to bridge people together regardless of taste in music, cultural differences, or political ideology. Johnny Cash could tackle some of the most difficult issues facing a tumultuous American society as it saw the emergence of rock and roll and the counterculture because they man had such an air of respect about him.
AP Carter, Bitter Tears, Bob Dylan, Cowboy Jack Clement, Folsom Prision, Graham Nash, hurt, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, NIN, San Quentin, Shel Silverstein, Sunday Morning Coming Down, The Johnny Cash Show, Trent Reznor, United Nations Humanitarian Award, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson is in many ways a microcosm of the American experience. He grew up during The Depression, had a rough and tumble youth, battled through familial and financial problems for years, struck it rich, and reformed himself from his violent past to become one of the world’s most well-known and greatest pacifists and advocates for the poor and social justice.
Bill Monroe, Buck Owens, Charlie Rich, Dennis Hopper, Dottie West, Farm Aid, John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Larry Trader, Loretta Lynn, Luck, Luck TX, Mark Rothbaum, Neil Young, Poodie Locke, Red Headed Stranger, Roger Miller, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Unlike Elvis, The Beatles, and other such acts that withstood the test of time to become commercial success stories in multiple decades, The Everly Brothers seemed to hit a wall in the early 60â€²s, and never really rekindled their popular magic later in life. Why did this happen? How could an act that was so popular, and seemed to resonate so deeply with the American public get lost in the shuffle?
At the 1994 ACM Awards, Alan Jackson pulled at stunt that has gone unfairly under-recognized in that annals of country’s finest moments of rebellion and protest. It wasn’t just Alan’s Jackson’s shirt that caught people’s eye and no doubt drew the worst ire of the ACM producers. Before the show, producers had told Alan that he had to play to a pre-recorded track
Before there were reality show contests and overnight sensations in country music, artists were expected to pay dues. Much can be written about the influence and impact Ray Price had on country music. But there may be no better evidence then the list of performers who felt honored to play behind Ray during their rise. Here’s some of the most notable Cherokee Cowboys that went on to bigger fame.
Some of the new “Outlaws” in country music will have you believe that getting some mud on their tires or drinking a little too much is tantamount to years of paying dues and sewing your true Outlaw oats like the original Outlaws did. So here’s ten reasons why today’s “Outlaws” will never live up to the legacy of one of the biggest country music Outlaws, Waylon Waymore Watashin By God Hoss Tecumseh Jennings.
Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way, Billy Ray Cyrus, Buddy Holly, Chet Atkins, Clint Black, CMA Awards, Jessi Colter, Kris Kristofferson, Married With Children, Neil Reshen, RCA, Sesame Street, Tom Snyder, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
To say that Kellie Pickler’s personal life growing up was tumultuous would be a remark that resides somewhere between a gross understatement and a dramatic oversimplification. Kellie Pickler hasn’t seen her mother in over 15 years, since Kellie was roughly 11-years-old. Her father at last report was a fugitive wanted by the State of Florida. And that’s just where the story begins.
The last few weeks might go down in history as one of country music’s most feud-laden moments. Though country music feuding may be on a sharp rise here recently, it is not an uncommon or recent occurrence in country music by any stretch. Nothing gets folks talking like a good old artist on artist donnybrook. Here are some of the most infamous over the years.
Billy Ray Cyrus, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Charlie Rich, country music feuds, Curb Records, Dierks Bentley, Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Ethan Hawke, feud, Garth Brooks, Gary Allan, Grand Ole Opry, Hank Williams III, Hank3, In A Razor Town, Jason Isbell, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Kelly Clarkson, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, LeAnn Rimes, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Maines, Porter Wagoner, Rascal Flatts, Ray Price, Scott Borchetta, Shooter Jennings, Stonewall Jason, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Tompall Glaser, Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown
In 2013, there is only one music artist who can say they’re officially banned for life from country music’s most storied institution: the Grand Ole Opry. No, it’s not David Allan Coe, Hank Williams III, or some other hothead, firebrand artist quick to call out the Opry and other mainstream country music institutions at any perceived slight. No, the offending party is none other than alt-country luminary Neko Case.
A big battle ground in country music right now is the presence of so many songs about trucks. Though this recent popularity trend seems especially sinister in its simplistic, incessant nature, it is not necessarily unprecedented in country. From the early 60’s into the mid 70’s, songs about semi-trucks and truck drivers were all the rage, with big names like Merle Haggard, Del Reeves, and Buck Owens getting in on the action.
Aaron Tippin, Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Wayne, Buck Owens, C.W. McCall, Commander Cody, Dale Watson, Dave Dudley, Del Reeves, Dick Curless, Jerry Reed, Junior Brown, Merle Haggard, Red Simpson, Red Sovine, Tom T. Hall, truck driving songs, trucker songs, Webb Pierce
the image of the angry face and the raised middle finger has become an iconic symbol of defiance against the direction of country music. As indecent as a raised middle finger happens to be in the first place, and the propensity for some seedy country fans and artists to have it make an appearance in every single photo of them, it has come to mean more than its vulgar connotation in the fight to save country music.
Bob Wayne, Country Music, country music flipping the bird, country music middle finger, Dale Watson, David Allan Coe, flipping the bird, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Jeff Austin, Jim Marshall, Johnny Cash, Jonny Fritz, Keith Richards, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Leroy Virgil, middle finger, Rick Rubin, story of willie nelson middle finger, Willie Nelson, Yonder Mountain String Band
“That night in my house [was] the first time these songs were heard…” Johnny Cash went on. “Joni Mitchell sang ‘Both Sides Now,’ Graham Nash sang ‘Marrakesh Express,’ Shel Silverstein sang ‘A Boy Named Sue,’ Bob Dylan sang ‘Lay Lady Lay,’ and Kristofferson sang ‘Me & Bobby McGee.’ That was the first time any of those songs were heard.”
A Boy Named Sue, Bing Crosby, Bob Dylan, Both Sides Now, Carl Perkins, David Letterman, Duran Duran, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Graham Nash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, Lay Lady Lay, Marrakesh Express, Me & Bobby McGee, Million Dollar Quartet, Million Dollar Songwriter Circle, Ministry, Nashville Skyline, Shel Silverstein, The Byrds, The Highwaymen, Willie Nelson
Authenticity and dysfunction are regularly celebrated in country music, and what better way to celebrate that than to look back in time a some of the most notable mugshots and arrests of country music’s most notable stars: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Glen Campbell, Rodney Atkins, Wynonna Judd, Kid Rock, David Allan Coe, Johnny Paycheck, and many more.
arrested, Billy Joe Shaver, Chris Cagle, David Allan Coe, George Jones, Glen Campbell, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Jail, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnnu Paycheck, Johnny Cash, Kid Rock, Mug Shot, Mugshot, Prison, Randy Travis, Rodney Atkins, The Boomswagglers, Willie Nelson, Wynonna Judd
When looking at the historical timeline of country music, many times it is big events that set the wheels of change in motion, for the good and the bad. Whether it is intrusion of pop or rap into country, or the ill-treatment of country music greats, here are some of the most embarrassing moments in country music history.
Alan Jackson, Bob Dylan, Chris Gains, CMA Awards, Darius Rucker, DeFord Bailey. Jason Aldean, Dirt Road Anthem, Garth Brooks, George Jones, Grand Ole Opry, Hank Williams, Jakob Dylan, Jason & the Scorchers, Jessica Simpson, John Denver, John Hartford, Keith Urban, Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams, Ludacris, Olivia Newton John, rap, Rascal Flatts, Reinstate Hank, Ryman Auditorium, Sheryl Crow, Stonewall Jackson, Struggle, Taylor Swift, Waylon Jennings
Slim Whitman’s influence far outlasted his popular music popularity, and so do his songs that illustrate an astounding, enchanting control of the human vocal range. Oh, and let’s not forget that moment in 1996 when Slim Whitman’s music single-handedly saved the world from invading Martians
Chet Flippo’s wife had recently passed away, and today we got the unfortunate news that Chet Flippo has now joined her in the great newsroom in the sky. Every third year the Country Music Hall of Fame inducts a non-performer into its exclusive ranks. If there was ever a journalist that deserved to be included amongst the artists he covered so dutifully for so many years, it would be Chet Flippo.
The general consensus amongst country music pundits in 2013 is that we are in the midst of the ‘Year Of The Woman.’ But this isn’t the first year in country when the women deserved the lion’s share of attention. Rose Maddox of The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Goldie Hill, and the woman who would later rise to be known as the Queen of Country Music, Kitty Wells became pioneers for women in country.
There may not be a more notorious moment in the annals of country music lore than when a drunk and disorderly Charlie Rich set fire to the piece of paper announcing John Denver as the Country Music Association “Entertainer of the Year” for 1975. For years the moment has set the high water mark for the rebuke of the pop world infiltrating country, but there was no public video of the incident.
Radio station 93.5 KOOK and 1230 KERV in Kerrville, TX, managed by legendary DJ Big ‘G’ Gordon Ames has a radio promo done by Kinky Friedman that simply says, “We play Hank. All of them.” Yes, we all know about country music’s most famous family, but here are the other 5 Hank’s that helped establish the sound of country music (and didn’t actually have “Hank” as their legal first names either).
Conway Twitty, Crazy Heart, Dwight Yoakam, Elvis, Hank Cochran, Hank Garland, Hank Locklin, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson