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My List Of Top Country Artists Yesterday and Today - These Singers Who Have Made a Difference In My Life

Updated on November 25, 2012

Favorite Country Artists


My Favorite Country Artists

I love country music and have ever since I can remember. I have fond memories of listening to the local country station as a very young child with my parents and grandparents. I like all music – and listen to a variety of genres, but I always come back to country music and its stories….so many of them are real life…

The following is a list of my top country performers. I know that they are not EVERYONE’S favorites – but they are mine! (These are in no particular order – they are all awesome in their own ways!)

Garth Brooks – Garth is one of my all-time favorites. I can listen to him all day long and never get tired of him. I started listening to him when he first came out and still listen to him today. I wish that he would come back out of retirement and make some new songs. I know that he is waiting until his daughters are grown to come back, but it can’t happen soon enough for me. I have many favorites that he sings, but I think my most favorite is “Standing Outside The Fire” mostly because of the video that goes along. It happens to feature a Special Olympian – and this is one of my favorite causes.

George Jones – My mom introduced me to George Jones when I was small. Even with all of the personal problems this man had, he was an awesome singer. He had many wonderful songs that he sang alone, and many that he sang with other singers, including wife, Tammy Wynette. There are many of his songs that I love, but my favorite is “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

Tammy Wynette – Tammy had a string of wonderful songs. She sang lots of strong woman songs that made her a favorite among women. She also sang many songs with her husband, George Jones. One favorite that the couple sang together was “Golden Ring.” As for my favorite Tammy Wynette song, it would have to be “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.”

Loretta Lynn – The Queen of Country music and the Coal Miner’s Daughter had many awesome songs. She always reminded me of my mother. Her background was very similar to my mom’s and she was one of my mother’s favorite singers. Loretta has had a long and successful career in music, singing about what she knew best. She had many hit songs, but my favorite was always “Fist City.”

Johnny Cash – Johnny Cash belongs on any and all top country lists. He is the king of country music and is the reason many of the country singers of today are singing. He has had a huge influence on the genre and most people in the business. It seems that Johnny Cash was always a part of my life and I don’t remember a time of my life that his music was not in my home. He sings everything from good old fashioned country to gospel and early rock. I have always admired the man, his struggles and his family life. He wasn’t perfect, but he tried. I have two favorites from him, “A Boy Named Sue,” and “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”

Hank Williams – Hank Williams started singing in the roadhouses around his home. When he was twenty-three he signed his first singing contract. He was one of the great original country singers that was popular in the very early days. His songs were thoughtful and full of heart. My favorite song from him is “You’re Cheatin’ Heart” among many others. This short paragraph does not do the man justice – I could write whole books about him and it still wouldn’t be able to show the real man and his music.

Hank Williams, Jr. – Following in the footsteps of his famous father, Hank Jr. is best known for his outlaw country sound. Until recently his song “All My Rowdy Friends” has been a staple of Monday Night Football. In my opinion, “A Country Boy Can Survive” is his best work.

Kenny Rogers – This Kenny started out as a member of The First Edition before becoming a star in his own right. “The Gambler” and “Coward of the County” were big hits for him in the 1980’s. He paired up with some big stars, most notably Dolly Parton. My favorite song that Kenny sang was “Lucille.”

Taylor Swift – Although fairly new to the music scene, Taylor has made quite a showing in country music. She started young and has been steadily on the rise. She has had many number one hits already in her short career. She has been a favorite of the younger set, as well as others who love her old fashioned sound. She has written most of her own songs. The song, “Love Story” is my favorite.

Dolly Parton – Dolly is probably best known now for her amusement park Dollywood. She is also in a new movie premiering soon in the theaters. She had many number one hits in the 1960’s and 1970’s – some with Porter Wagoner. In the 1980’s she had a string of hits, some with Kenny Rogers. She also starred in some movies in the ‘80’s. Two of her songs were my favorites “Coat of Many Colors” and “Me and Little Andy.”

Reba McIntire – Reba has been around a long time with hit after hit – more than 20 top tens in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. There are so many great songs that she has done. Although she had so many great songs, she often had to fight her record label to get them to promote her songs. She eventually found the right label and has since prospered. “Fancy” is my favorite Reba song.

Kris Kristofferson – Kris is another songwriter/singer. He has written as many hit songs for others as for himself. He started writing in the 1960’s and wrote many favorite songs, including “Me and Bobby McGee” for Roger Miller and “Sunday Morning Coming Down” for Johnny Cash. In the 1970’s he added acting to his resume acting in such films as “A Star is Born” with Barbra Streisand. My favorite Kris Kristofferson song has to be “Me and Bobby McGee.”

Glen Campbell – I first began listening to Glen Campbell when I was about eight years old. My dad had won an eight track player and ten eight tracks to go along.(Boy – am I dating myself!) One was a Glen Campbell eight track. We were living in California at the time, halfway across the country from our hometown of Wichita, Kansas. One of the tracks was “Wichita Lineman” and I loved Glen from that moment on. “Wichita Lineman” was and is my favorite song that Glen Campbell sings.

Gene Autry – My mother introduced me to this “Singing Cowboy” when I was a very small child. I can remember getting up early on Saturday mornings to watch the old movies that he starred in. I couldn’t wait to see what adventure he was going on next. While most kids loved and admired Roy Evans, Gene Autry was always my favorite “singing cowboy.” My favorite song from him is “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Of course, there are many other great songs from this great man.

Kenny Chesney – I first started listening to Kenny Chesney when I heard about his legal troubles with Tim McGraw, another of my favorites. He wasn’t a favorite, though, until my daughter dragged me to a concert of his. His performance impressed me so much that I started listening to more of his CD’s and today he is among my top favorites. My favorite song from him is “There Goes My Life.”

Tim McGraw – Tim is the son of baseball great Tug McGraw. He began his career in the early 1990’s. One of his biggest claims to fame is his marriage to fellow superstar, Faith Hill. They have performed together many times, and married after they toured together with Faith as the opening act for Tim. My favorite Tim song is “Don’t Take the Girl.”

Toby Keith - If you love country music, you have at least heard of Toby Keith. If not for the infamous fight with The Dixie Chicks, then for his many tours to the Middle East to perform for the troops. He sings such wonderful songs as “Red, White and Blue (The Angry American Song)” and “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” My favorite song from him is “Who’s That Man.”

Once again, this is my list of favorite country singers. There are many more that are not on this list. I could write for days on other stars, so I guess it’s time for me to end this! Hope you enjoyed my list!

Country Music Lives!


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    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      KF - thank you for the corrections and the great info!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Epi - I will stop by your facebook! Thank you for your kind comments!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ....I am sorry I missed this one the first time around as I really do love country music - and this labor of love by you will be posted to my Facebook page with a direct link back here - I have started a new group on Facebook called LET'S JUST TALK MUSIC OR CINEMA - it's on my homepage on FB as a link and my name is Colin Stewart with the same profile photo as here - I would love to see you drop by and join if you're so inclined especially with your world class taste in country music - lake erie time 9:25pm and sending warm wishes to you with good energy too

    • KF Raizor profile image

      KF Raizor 6 years ago

      Great hub. One correction, though: Hank Williams was neither "one of the original country singers" nor was his career "in the very early days" of country music. Recorded country music goes back to 1922, and acts like the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Vernon Dalhart, Patsy Montana, the Delmore Brothers, and even Gene Autry (who was a member of the WLS National Barn Dance in the mid-1930s) had hits before Hank was out of elementary school.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      alocsin - thank you for your kind comments! Do check them all out - they are awesome!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thank you for this list. I'll have to go and listen to some of the unfamiliar ones. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Yeah - it surprised me to see my name so high on the list...didn't expect that at all! Sorry they butchered your name, tho!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 6 years ago from Shelton

      I don't follow country music.. but maybe Im missing something..thanks for this share.. oh yeah and as for that list congrats you are way up on the lisT.. they really butchered my name-- and that's one of my pet peeves..LOL but thanks for the heads up

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Leader - I would love to go to the Grand Ole Opry! It is on my bucket list! And I bet you are right - many of the younger generation would not know many of them. Thanks for reading!

    • Leaderofmany profile image

      Leaderofmany 6 years ago from Back Home in Indiana

      You have a list of some good ole country music. I would have put most of them together on a list myself. I wonder in some of the younger generation even knows some of the names. I went to the Grand Ole Opry this last winter and it was filled with old, old names.

    • American View profile image

      American View 6 years ago from Plano, Texas

      What a great list of artists. THere music will stand for generations to hear and enjoy.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      ytsenoh- Thank you for your comments! I am familiar with "The Highway Song." It is a great song!

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      I like the way you added your notes to each of your favorite singers. I love music, but have not loved all country music. That being said, though, I did spend about one year listening to country music to get to know it and the artists. One I do like that is so emotionally telling is "The Highway Song." Are you familiar with that one? Great song. I do also like Willie Nelson. I did like the way Garth's songs are so upbeat. Thanks for your hub.


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