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Top 100 Old Country Songs Part 3
Have you seen any of your favorites? Be sure to comment if you have something to say about the list and how it was compiled. Let’s continue…
60. Dang Me – Roger Miller
The myth is Roger Miller wrote this song in just about 10 minutes one day while riding in a car. Sometimes that inspiration just hits you I guess. The song became one of Roger’s biggest hits and that’s really saying something. Dang Me showcased Roger’s personality as being a little quirky and off kilter. He had a great sense of humor and the melody of this track is something really unique. When you think back to the ’60s there is no doubt this song had to be great fun every time it came on the radio. Roger Miller is a legend and this is one of his greatest songs and a truly great old country song.
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59. Rose Colored Glasses – John Conlee
John Conlee is one of a kind. He had this real nasal type voice and people really took a liking to him. Back in the late ’70s John came out with his debut song – Rose Colored Glasses. It was one of those songs you couldn’t believe hadn’t been released already. It was about a guy that couldn’t see through his own blinders. He was oblivious to what was going on right in front of his face and the poor guy had no idea what was coming. You feel for him. John still sings the song live on occasion along with his many other hits. He’s one of my favorites and I love hearing this track on the radio still today.
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58. I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail – Buck Owens
Buck Owens is well known in country circles for being an innovator. Buck is famous for branding his own style of music. He had west coast appeal and it really showed on his famous television shoes. Buck was always an accomplished artist and his classic I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail is still a favorite. There is s saying in country music that if you can get the kids singing along to a song you really have something special. This is the kind of song kids can easily pick up on. They love the melody. Adults love it to and it remains popular decades after its original release.
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57. Lucille – Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers was known for being in a pop band back in the ’60s. The silver haired guy came to prominence in the ’70s as a solo country artist. This was the song that kicked everything off for Kenny. The song was told from the point of view of the “other” guy in the relationship. He’s chatting up a lady in a bar when her husband comes up. The narrator thinks he was dead for sure, but the big husband is simply there to plead to Lucile that she’s left him at the worst time. You really feel for the poor guy.
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56. Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
This song could be one of the most well-known country songs of all time. Johnny Cash has been famous for years and his popularity picked up more than a few times over the years. In fact, when the movie about his life came out in the ’00s Johnny really became popular once again. An entire generation was once again introduced to the music of the legend including his classic about a guy on his last luck thinking about prison. Now this was outlaw country before it even existed.
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55. Yesterday’s Wine – George Jones & Merle Haggard
George Jones and Merle Haggard are legends. They have huge collections of hit songs of their own. On a few occasions these guys got together to record a few duets and it was no surprise the results were huge. Yesterday’s Wine became one of those huge duets back in 1982. The song was actually written and recorded by Willie Nelson back in 1971. The song’s about enjoying the company of a person that’s well traveled and has seen it all. You talk about the old days and enjoy a few drinks. A great country song.
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54. Walking The Floor Over You – Ernest Tubb
Ernest Tubb makes an appearance once again on the charts. The man had more country hits than just about every other artist in history. He will always be around in the memories of country fans. Walking The Floor Over You was a great old honky tonk song. People have been playing this song about a woman that’s left and the guy that can’t stand her being gone for ages. In fact, the song became the topic of another famous song by Vern Gosdin. You’re always a legend when you’re mentioned in someone else’s song. And Ernest certainly is a legend.
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53. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys – Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson recorded numerous songs over his run during the ’70s and ’80s. One of his most famed hits was My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys. The song is slow moving and really puts you in a certain state of mind. You think back to the days when every boy’s hero was a cowboy. You think back to the days when guys had courage and weren’t afraid to die. That’s how guys were raised during the 20th century. Guys had courage. Willie sure had courage. He took on the country established and became one of the outlaws. He’s a legend.
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52. Move It On Over – Hank Williams
Hank Williams is back on the countdown. The man was country music for many fans. Move It On Over was one of Hank’s upbeat songs. The melody was catchy and it got you moving around the dance floor. I wasn’t around back in the days of Hank, but I’d imagine he swung those hips around when he was playing this song for his crowds. There was plenty to love about Hank Williams and songs like this were the reason he became a legend.
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51. Somebody Should Leave – Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire got her start back in the ’70s. It’s hard to think she’s been around that long. She looks and sounds as good as ever in what is now her fourth decade of touring, performing, and acting. She’s been a busy lady these days, but back in the early ’80s she was just looking for a few hits. Somebody Should Leave is about the heartbreak a couple feels as they know they’re falling out of love. They know one of them has to leave, but they’re not sure how to start. It’s a sad song, but a true song. It’s a country song.
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50. Let’s Chase Each Other Around The Room – Merle Haggard
Merle makes the list once again. The man is a legend and still going strong today. It’s hard not to include many of his songs on this list of old country tunes. Merle showed his fun loving side with this track. It showed the love of two people and how they could keep the fire burning by chasing each other around, laughing, and carrying on. that’s probably what keeps folks together through all those years. Keep laughing and keep loving. Chase each other around like a couple kids. Maybe that’s the secret.
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49. What’s Made Milwaukee Famous – Jerry Lee Lewis
This song has a somewhat special place in my heart. Being from Wisconsin it’s kind of important to be proud of that which is discussing your home state. Jerry Lee Lewis successfully transitioned from his troubled rock and roll past into the hallows of country music with What’s Made Milwaukee Famous. The song is about the great beer that’s been brewed in Milwaukee for ages. The fact turns out that it’s the beer that can turn men into losers. It happened in this song and it’s happened many times. Some fight their way back and others just can’t seem to shake it. Jerry Lee became a star again and it was all because of what made Milwaukee famous.
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48. Family Tradition – Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr. had a lot to live up to. In fact, it could be argued that Jr. had to live up to unreasonable expectations. His curse was loving the same thing as his famous dad – country music. Jr. even toured as a young kid pretending to be his dad. His dad’s fans needed to hear the music they loved and Jr. was out on stage performing it. In the late ’70s, Jr. successfully reinvented his image and he became his own artist. Family Tradition was the perfect way for Jr. to acknowledge his dad and his family. It was always the perfect way to proclaim to the world that he was different and ready to change country music. And that’s just what Rockin’ Randall did in the late ’70s and ’80s.
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47. Behind Closed Doors – Charlie Rich
Now here’s a romantic country song. Back in 1973, Charlie Rich came out with this track and it changed his career. Old Charlie was a silver fox and a silver tongued devil back in those days. He was a romantic and this song proved to be a little racy for the younger crowd, but adults loved it. The song is sensual. It’s about being politically correct in public, but very intimate behind closed doors. This song was like no other. The song won numerous awards and made Charlie a star. He’d had a previous life as a pop singer, but went on to become a legend in country music.
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46. Can The Circle Be Unbroken (By and By) – The Carter Family
We’re going way back in the early days of country music for this one. The Carter Family was touring and performing country music before just about anybody. They had a huge hit with Can The Circle Be Unbroken. The family toured and toured and played all kinds of events. They sold tons of records and people played this particular song over and over. Many people, our grandparents probably, had memories of listening to The Carter Family while sitting in the family room listening to the radio. Now that’s country music.
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45. She’s Got You – Patsy Cline
Patsy Cline really didn’t have a long career in country music. She tragically passed in a plane crash long before she had given everything she had to the country audience. The fact that she is still remembered as one of the greatest of all time proves the quality of her songs. It’s been half a decade since we had Patsy, but her songs live on. She’s Got You was one of Patsy’s best. The song is about heartache and losing someone you love to someone’s else. It’s a great country song. Sometimes things get sad in the country and there was no one better to express that feeling than Patsy Cline.
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44. Fool Hearted Memory – George Strait
George Strait kicked things off strong in the early ’80s. He had a number of songs that really took things to new levels in his career. One of those game changing songs was Fool Hearted Memory. This song about love and heartbreak caught on with country fans are really made George into a star. He became a country artist with a number one record and started seeing some of the big stages out on the road. George would go on to have huge hits throughout the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, and still today. He’s a legend and he’s always had the ability to come out with great hooks and melodies like Fool Hearted Memory.
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43. Stand By Your Man – Tammy Wynette
It’s hard to know if Tammy Wynette was out looking for controversy with her huge hit Stand By Your Man. She went upstairs to write the track and the story goes she came down just a little while later. The song would go on to become her signature hit. It was a huge success not only in the country world, but in the music world. The song was about sticking by your man no matter what the situation. Some took offense to the song and spoke out for women’s right to be independent, but Tammy stood by her man and the song. People respected her for that through the years.
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42. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain – Willie Nelson
By 1975, Willie Nelson was almost an afterthought in country music. He had kicked around throughout the sixties and had numerous hits as a songwriter. As a recording artist he continued to look for a breakout hit. That came in 1975 when Willie Nelson covered the Fred Rose-penned song Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain. The song, previously recorded by Roy Acuff, became a number one hit and ushered in the era of the outlaw. Willie Nelson was on top and it’s where he would stay for more than a decade. Willie became a legend all thanks to a great old country song.
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41. The Race Is On – George Jones
In 1964, George Jones hooked up with United Artists. Some look back on this period as one of George’s greatest. In a career full of great moments there are artista and fans that look back on the UA era for George as one of the best of any artist. In 1965, George released what became a huge hit with The Race Is On. The song was really upbeat and catchy. Everybody was holding on for the ride of their lives as George whipped them around, up and down through the chorus and the verses. It’s a great country song and still famous in honky tonks today.
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