YouTube Great Discoveries Contest

To our readers, I present a challenge.

To the winner, a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

YouTube is home to countless country music clips, including some very rare live performances.  Your challenge is to find the most surprising and unexpected live performance by a country artist.

24 hours from now, I'll post a poll on the front page and allow readers to vote for the clip that they deem the greatest discovery. The commenter who posts the winning clip will receive the gift card!

Here's all you need to do:

1. Find the clip on YouTube and copy its url into the comment box.

2. Add a “v” after the http, so the beginning of the link now reads  httpv://

3. Write a brief descr

iption of the find and why you think it's a great discovery.

I'll give an example to get things going.

Long before she became a bona fide superstar, Shania Twain had to settle for any exposure she could get. One avenue open to her was singing covers on the TNN show Music City Tonight.

In this clip, she performs Neil Young's “Love is a Rose” in the style of Linda Ronstadt. She sounds pretty good, but she's clearly still a television newbie. Check out her flub toward the end, where she begins singing the final verse before the instrumental interlude is over, and has to cut herself off mid-line:


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35 Comments on YouTube Great Discoveries Contest

  1. I’m ready to vote for the Shania clip right now.

  2. Greg DowNo Gravatar // April 26, 2009 at 9:38 pm //

    Thought this was great. A great interesting version of Hey Good Looking with Hank Williams Jr. and Reb McEntire. I love seeing super mega stars getting together to do a simple number. Plus I love Reba’s outfit (very leather filled)


  3. The video quality for the first half of this isn’t great and it’s only a partial clip, apparently from some documentary, but here’s Merle Haggard doing a spot-on impersonation of Marty Robbins. It’s good to see these two legends together and Marty’s reaction to Merle’s impression is great.


  4. httpv://

  5. Sorry, I forgot to write a description of the clip I posted. This was Dolly’s 1967 debut on The Porter Wagoner Show. This was her big break; her duets with Porter and the exposure she got from his show are what really started her on her way to superstardom. I can’t imagine country music without Dolly, so for that reason this clip is historically significant.

  6. Another favorite clip of mine. This is Dwight Yoakam speaking and singing at the funeral of his friend and mentor, the great Buck Owens. Dwight’s a pretty cool and collected guy. You don’t often see him open up emotionally like this:


  7. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar // April 26, 2009 at 11:51 pm //


    I think this is a great discovery, surprising and unexpected for several reasons..

    First, not everyone knows that Sara has singing sisters who are just about as awesome as she is…

    Secondly, it may surprise some folks to learn that the singer of You’ll Always Be My Baby, and As If also has a hard core Bluegrass backgound…but as this clip demonstrates, she grew up singing the stuff!

    Also, In The Pines is not usually done a-capella, and Sara and sisters Lesley and Ashley do a splendid and creative interpretation…Hopefully everyone can hear that in spite of the unsolicited sing along, cheers and comments from the audience. ;)

  8. httpv://

    Austin City Limits, 1990. Before Garth became GARTH. Great song, tight band; this is the Garth that hooked me on his music. Ty England looks 12 though, LOL.

  9. I’ve posted this before, but I just think it is an amazing vocal performace, all stripped down and intimate. You can hear every note sung to its fullest. I was floored the first time I heard it and being stripped down it has a country sound to it.


  10. Lynn DouglasNo Gravatar // April 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm //

    I’m not allowed to enter and I can’t find anything surprising to share, but I love these combos:

    Dwight Yoakam and Kelly Willis singing “Take Me”:

    Patty Griffin and Natalie Maines singing “Mary”:

    Mary J Blige, Shea Seger, Pat Benatar, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Dixie Chicks, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Nelly Furtado on “Take it To The Limit”:

    Norah Jones and Kris Kristofferson singing “Guess Things Happen That Way”:
    (Not posted, but don’t miss Norah with Bonnie Raitt singing “Tennessee Waltz and Norah singing Cash’s “Home of the Blues”)

    Finally, I love when Miranda and Blake sing together. Here’s “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma”:

  11. Soul Miners DaughterNo Gravatar // April 27, 2009 at 8:38 pm //

    Now this is old school Nashville country music! I love the old stuff and the classic Opry performers. This clip has Little Jimmy Dickens and a very young June Carter sharing some comedy. She then sings “Jilted” accompanied by a very young Chet Atkins. THIS is what country music roots are about and should never be forgotten… despite how hard the CMA tries, but I digress. ;-)

    From a John Denver tv special. Kathy Mattea and Patty Loveless duet on “Someday Soon”. They were my absolute faves when this came out and it’s such a great performance, their voices truly have a uniqueness together (if that makes sense).
    I can’t believe it lives on… on YouTube!

  12. There’s a youtube video of Barbara Manddrell singing “Midnight Oil”.


  13. Eh…before Elvis…


  14. Argghhh…I guess I should read the rules first. Ok then, Gordon Terry loosely fits. The song does anyway. I’ve heard the Elvis version forever and never realized that it was a historically country tune.

  15. Here’s Trisha Yearwood singing one of my favorite songs, ‘I Don’t Paint Myself Into Corners’ on the 2002 ACM Awards. Introduction by Reba, who was hosting that year.


  16. I also have to submit this performance from Austin City Limits. This is Trisha Yearwood covering Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Try Me Again’, which is also on her Real Live Woman album.


  17. Soul Miner’s Daughter- I knew John very very well; we were friends from 1973 to his unfortunate death; thank you for that.

    JR I’m a HUGE Trish fan, and of her hubby as well, so thanks as well.

  18. To the Trish fans…she looked a little unsure but the voice, I suppose, was always there.


    And Mr. Jackson:


  19. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar // April 28, 2009 at 1:01 am //

    OK, if we can only post one for the contest, that’s fine, but this video is just too good NOT to share, just for the fun of it:


    Observe, my fellow Country fans:

    How Patty seems to be having the time of her life singing Bluegrass with her hero Ralph Stanley…watch as she shakes her head from side to side as she is totally smitten by the good Doctor’s soulful Mountain vocals…

    Also of note, notice how she holds that note starting at the 2.46 mark in the video, and still has enough wind for the flourish at the end of it.

    And finally watch how she shows Ralph Stanley her appreciation after the song is over…very sweet.

  20. White CleatsNo Gravatar // April 28, 2009 at 5:05 am //

    I loved Anita Carter for her technical wizardry (control, dynamics, range, release, pitch) and heart-felt interpretation. She had a cry in her voice that was natural and never affected. She was the finest singer of her day.
    This clip is made even better by the presence of Chet Atkins.


    I believe her version of Ring of Fire to be the best. Sorry, JR.
    Incidentally, the recorded version had a slower tempo, which gives it a different feel.


  21. White CleatsNo Gravatar // April 28, 2009 at 5:20 am //

    The best part of this clip is watching the chemistry between these two music legends. I never stop smiling during their time together. And yes, Neil Diamond is country.


  22. White CleatsNo Gravatar // April 28, 2009 at 5:25 am //

    Dolly is hardly a surprising choice as so many of us love her. This version of In My Tennessee Mountain Home particularly moves me because it’s so personal and her patented charm oozes from every pore. And got dayum, she can pick with those nails!


  23. White CleatsNo Gravatar // April 28, 2009 at 5:29 am //

    Ok, bad clip. Sorry.


  24. Erik NorthNo Gravatar // April 28, 2009 at 9:27 am //

    You can be known for having a big voice, as Linda Ronstadt does, and yet be just as effective by being subtle. Here’s such an example–a very Unplugged version of “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” from a 1974 performance on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert that she did with Bernie Leadon of the Eagles:


  25. httpv://–o

    In short, this shows just how great a vocalist Faith is.

  26. This is Luke Bryan covering Vince Gill’s ‘Whenever you come around.’ I debated on which video to post because Luke is a great performer and has great music, but I love this video because he does an amazing job and I like that he is bringing older music to newer generations!!


  27. Erik: Is this the video you were trying post?

  28. Soul Miners DaughterNo Gravatar // April 28, 2009 at 5:15 pm //

    You have to put the “v” in the address as mentioned in the introduction by Kevin …. (Step 2).

  29. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar // April 28, 2009 at 7:39 pm //

    Here’s Erik’s entry


  30. Kevin’s didn’t embed either!

  31. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar // April 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm //

    That happened with me once also, when I tried to post a Youtube on My Kind of Country, the link came up and functioned as a link, but the video itself didn’t post.

    And I placed the “v” in the proper position, just like you folks did, but the video did not appear right away…actually it took about a week for the video itself to post, and poof, like magic, it was there!

    These things are a complete mystery to me.

  32. Okay I have watched every single one, it took a couple of days but there are so many great finds. I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one to vote for. Now I’m gonna have to go and watch them again.

  33. It’s uncommon for a country group to cover a classic rock-n-roll oldie from the 60s. Not only did Alison Krauss and Union Station cover The Foundation’s “Baby, Now that I Found You”, they created an aww -some-ly FRESH version…


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