In a 1996 issue of Tennis Magazine, one of the publication’s chief editors wrote an article titled, “Are Champions Born or Made?.” He separates tennis stars from past and present eras in terms of their respective skills, arguing that some top-shelf racqueteers are born with certain physical gifts that propel them to success, while others rely on repetitive hard work and an inner motivation to compensate for natural talents they don’t possess.
In a way, the same question can be applied to country music stars of yesterday and today. I’d started to compile a list of who I believed to be the purest talents in the genre’s history, along with a slate of stars who climbed towards the top rungs of the ladder by pure blood, sweat and down-on-the-farm determination. Complex question, I know, and although the answers aren’t cut and dried, I’m sure it will stir up some neat (and respectful!) discussion.
A free cookie for the first commenter to name the court queen here in the picture.