Saturday, June 14, 2008

Favorite Country Artist Results, Nos. 10-6

Emmylou finished one spot ahead of her mentor, Gram.

Today's artists:

6. Waylon Jennings
7. Townes Van Zandt
8. Patsy Cline
9. Emmylou Harris
10. Gram Parsons

Today's songs:

Gram Parsons lived an even shorter life than Hank Williams, but he packed a lot of great music into those years (along with the drugs and alcohol). His precise talent is sometimes hard to pin down, so he's often labeled "overrated." I fall on the side who classify him more as charismatic visionary than punk-ass rich kid. Just consider all of the great songs he wrote. Here are two.

The Flying Burrito Brothers – Wheels (buy album)
Gram Parsons – Hickory Wind (buy album) (The fake “live” sounds effects are cheesy, but I like them for some reason.)

Y’all know I love Emmylou Harris. And what’s not to love about her?

Emmylou Harris – Boulder To Birmingham (Live) (buy album)
Emmylou Harris – Easy From Now On (buy album)

Twenty years ago Patsy Cline was, hands down, considered the greatest female country artist of all time. Her reputation has slipped a bit over the years as tastes have changed, but the quality is still there. I agree with your pick to put her number one among the gals, but I would've put Loretta second (sorry Emmylou).

Patsy Cline – Walkin’ After Midnight (Original Version)
Patsy Cline – Why Can’t He Be You?
(buy album)

Conversely, the general public knew very little about Townes Van Zandt twenty years ago, but his critical acclaim has really been on the rise over recent years thanks to his timeless songwriting. These two tracks show both sides of Townes Van Zandt.

Townes Van Zandt – Fraternity Blues (Live) (buy album)
Townes Van Zandt – Waiting Around To Die (Live) (buy album)

No question that Waylon Jennings is one of the true superstars of country music. He learned his first guitar licks from his mentor, Buddy Holly, and became the face of the outlaw country movement next to Willie Nelson (who you might see in this space tomorrow). The first track comes from what might be my favorite country album ever and the second is one of the songs that first made me love country music way back when…

Waylon Jennings – You Ask Me To (buy album)
Waylon Jennings – Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love) (buy album) (You've got to like the fact that they've got a "four-car garage" and their "still building on." Very American...)


Anonymous said...

This is shaping up to be a phenomenal series of posts. Its incredible to see the depth of the country music tradition. Patsy Cline will always be the hands-down, greatest female country singer of all time. Always...

Anonymous said...

Patsy Cline is the greatest female country singer of all time.

boyhowdy said...

Great to see some women made it into the top ten...and also great to see that the folks I would argue are not country after all got real votes, but nevertheless seem to have been left in the lower reaches -- that's just about right, I think.

Looking forward to the last part of the list...though those of us who have been playing along at home can surely deduce the winners, by now.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed catching up with this poll today. Glad to see Waylon landing in the exact spot I placed him in my top 10. I love 'Honky Tonk Heroes' also but have a softer spot for 'Dreaming My Dreams' and 'Lonesome, On'ry and Mean'. I love the Billy Joe Shaver originals on the brilliant and aforementoned 'Old Five And Dimers' too and these, along with 'Seven Bridges Road' by Steve Young are my favourite country rock albums. Can't believe Young never made it onto this poll. Nor my top 10 either. Doh! You always forget one