The Mount Rushmore of: Country Music

07Jul08

You didn’t expect this one did you?  Fine, I’ll admit it: I like County Music – but let me be clear: the bubble-gum pop stuff that dominates the radio airwaves IS NOT Country Music.  But you knew that.

  1. Hank Williams – He defined a style that is still revered today, recorded 10 songs that reached the top of the charts and did it all before the age of 30.  Yes, Hank died when he was 29.
  2. Johnny Cash – Johnny Cash was and still is the most iconic figure in Country Music.  The punk scene commonly refers to him as “the first punk”  which is interesting since he grew up in more of a gospel setting.  Of course the bio-pic re-energized interest in the man in black and brought a whole new group of fans into the fold.  But even if that movie is never filmed, Johnny Cash still gets his sculpture on the mountain.
  3. Dolly Pardon – I gotta pay some respect to the ladies of Country Music and for me the conversation starts with Dolly Pardon.  CMT did a list of the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music and Dolly was 4th on this list.  But Dolly did for Country Music what Will Smith did rap/hip-hop by going to the big and small screens and taking her genre to the mainstream.
  4. Buck Owens – Yes, Buck created the Bakersfield sound, and that’s really important to this conversation.  But the man also created an co-hosted Hee-Haw.  Seriously, the show was on TV for 24 years.  Think about how many Country Music musicians that show influenced.  Yeah, a lot.

Honorable Mentions: Patsy Cline, Bob Wills, Garth Brooks, Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson

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2 Responses to “The Mount Rushmore of: Country Music”

  1. 1 whatlyahave

    Good List —

    I would trade out Owens and Parton for Lynn and Nelson. Buck and Dolly became/have become characatures toward the end of their careers.

    Lynn was edgy and vital in her day. Willie has been one of the hardest working and best known musicians in any genre.

    But I love Buck and Dolly’s music, too!

  2. All good points. I’ll agree on Loretta Lynn, but differ a little on Willie Nelson. Don’t get me wrong, I love Willie and have seen him several times – but that’s the problem. I’ve seen him play a show when he too stoned and it sounds like shit. That’s really why he didn’t get the nod – but that’s just me.


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