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danasgoodstuff

CMT top 40 men of country

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Y'all may have noted that I have refrained thus far from stating my exact preferances re this list. However I would have to put the following near the top: Hank 'Sr', Jimmie Rodgers (yes they did mean the right one, thank god), Lefty, Merle, Willie, Ray Price, Web Pierce, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, Buck and Don (as with many 'great men' it was really the collaboration with others that made them great). Others in the top ten of their list would be somewhere on mine, even Garth (it's interesting that the arguments at CMT all revolve around who is and isn't "country" not who is or isn't good). Others not on the list who ought to be on it either for excellence or influence are session players and/or working band members like Hank Garland, Buddy Emmons, Johnny Gimble, Harold 'pig' Robbins, etc. and non-singing songwriters like Harlan Howard. And then there's the whole brother duet tradition, the Stanleys, the Louvins, the Delmores, the Blue Sky Boys. And what about pre-WWII string bands. Gram Parsons would be on the edge of my 40, as would Joe Ely and any one more recent than that--I love the exteme long range views expressed on CMT's posting "lets wait ANOTHER 20yr to see how good he is", even worse/better than jazz fans in that regard. On a more abstract note, 'going pop' is not necessarily always the problem...singing big glitzy ballands was exactly the right thing for Patsy Cline since she had the perfect voice for it. Finally, it's gratifying to see a thread I started so far off the main topic get such a big response.

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danasgoodstuff-just to clarify I don't have a problem with the early country/pop sound.What I was trying to get across was for those people who prefer the more traditional sound and were upset by the pop elements in todays mainstream country music.Those people point a finger at today's mainstream country artists when in fact country and pop mixing has been going on for sometime.

clarifying part two-while I don't have a problem with the early pop/country sound (Patsy and Jim Reeves were quite good and the arrangements served them hansomely)I still think some of it is dreck but perhaps not as much as today like Toby Keith and Travis Tritt(two legends in their own minds.)Shania and Faith Hill(Yecch!!!).

Thanks to artists like Patty Loveless and Dwight Yoakam country isn't in the vile state that it was when Olivia Newton-John won a CMA award but a certain degree of stagnation has set in or like George Strait and Alan Jackson sang "Murder on Music Row.

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Chris,

Clarifications noted, I think we're on the same page. your mention of Olivia Newton-John reminded me of another glaring omission from the CMT list: Charlie Rich, creator of great music and great hits, albiet not usually at the same time. Didn't he torch the CMA award paper after Olivia (or was it John Denver?) won? I always thought Charlie was kinda what might have happened to Mose Allison if he'd gone to Nashville instead of New York (?!)

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I always thought Charlie was kinda what might have happened to Mose Allison if he'd gone to Nashville instead of New York (?!)

You know, that makes sense! :)

As far as the pop elements go, let's face it. There are a hell of a lot of great country songs that were ruined by over-the-top strings-and-background-singer arrangements that were entirely unsuited for them, but made sense at the time. Listening to my wife's TIME-LIFE series of country/western hits, I hear song after song that annoyed the hell out of me when I was younger. In most cases, I realize now that it was the cheezy strings and "uncountry" backing vocals that annoyed me; the songs themselves are gems! (Except Wolverton Mountain. God, that's bad...)

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Wasn't Chet Atkins one of the architects of the Nashville sound?

I have to admit that I have developed a fondness for those Billy Sherrill overproduced George Jones records from the mid-seventies like The Grand Tour.

:rsmile:

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danasgoodstuff we are indeed pretty much on the same page. Thanks for bringing up Charlie Rich. I heard "the Most Beautiful Girl" so many times when it was popular that it really got on my nerves but I've mellowed towards it over time. In retrospect Charlie did some really good work.

Africabrass even though Billy Sherrill will never be associated all that much with a hardcore traditional country sound he nonetheless produced some of the classics with Tammy Wynette,Charlie Rich and George Jones(not only "the Grand Tour" but also "He Stopped Loving Her Today").

Jazzmoose I'll see your "Wolverton Mountain" and raise it with Red Sovine's "Teddy Bear". :g

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Chris,

I usually listen to country from the late 60's and before, so I guess I have a little guilt complex liking the really overproduced stuff.

But that is what I grew up around and I guess some of it got under my skin. :rsmile:

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Africabrass- Not a thing wrong with having some "guilty pleasures". A lot of those Sherrill arrangements have actually endured much better than a lot of traditional country. If there's any country fans grousing about someone like George Jones doing non country songs because of those Sherrill arrangements they're not grousing too loud because most country fans would consider,examine and reject any such arguments.As for myself if someone asked me for an example of a classic country recording one of the first ones that would come to mind would be Jones's "He Stopped Loving Her Today".

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Chris,

I don't remember "Teddy Bear" but I do have a very distinct memory of "giddy Up Go" and "Phantom 409" from a hitch-hiking trip from Saskatoon to Calgary and Edmonton and back again on spring break in high school (of course we got snowed on), seemed that was all one trucker played. Also remember the girls in North Battlefield who wanted to take us "just down to the corner"...Hey that might make a good country song!

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Danasgoodstuff-It already sounds better than "Teddy Bear"> :g

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Tom Waits does alright by Phantom 309 on the live Nighthawks at the Diner.

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I'd love to hear anything by Tom Waits on country radio.Now you talk about messing someone's mind up! :g

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