Previous Entry: Day 17: “9 to 5” to “Now I Know”
Day 18 features tracks from Hal Ketchum, Olivia Newton-John, Tim McGraw, The Civil Wars, and LeAnn Rimes.
“Past the Point of Rescue”
Written by Mick Hanly
There were some artists that were so cool and original that their success on country radio still seemed like a happy accident, even in an era when quality was high all around. Hal Ketchum was among the last wave of intelligent singer-songwriters to have mainstream country success, and like kindred spirits Rosanne Cash and Mary Chapin Carpenter, he knew how to find great songs to cover, too.
Other Favorites: “Small Town Saturday Night,” “Someplace Far Away (Careful What You’re Dreamin’),” “In Front of the Alamo”
“Please Mr. Please”
Written by John Rostill and Bruce Welch
This was one of the first country records that I ever heard, and while I still prefer her post-Grease pop hits to her country material, there are a lot of gems from her early years that still hold up today. This one is pretty much perfect, as far as I’m concerned.
Other Favorites: “Let Me Be There,” “Come On Over,” “Banks of the Ohio”
“Please Remember Me”
Written by Rodney Crowell and Will Jennings
Tim McGraw’s best moments have often come from his talent for turning previously recorded songs into hits. Rodney Crowell released “Please Remember Me” to little fanfare, but Tim McGraw’s soaring version, aided by harmonies by Patty Loveless, was an instant classic.
Other Favorites: “Red Ragtop,” “Shotgun Rider,” “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” (with Faith Hill)
“Poison & Wine”
The Civil Wars
Written by Chris Lindsey, John Paul White, and Joy Williams
I still remember the first time I heard the Civil Wars, in the form of a live EP, before they blew up big. This was the song that made my jaw drop. The harmonies are heavenly, but the lyrics cut you until you bleed.
Other Favorites: “Falling,” “20 Years,” “The One That Got Away”
“Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way”
Written by John Kennedy and Tami Kidd
LeAnn Rimes makes the best case for the connection between age and artistic maturity that I can think of. Her work before This Woman was often entertaining, but her work from that album on has been consistently excellent, substantive and, at times, absolutely stunning. This track marked the only time where country radio truly embraced her substantive work. They’ve been missing out ever since.
Other Favorites: “Borrowed,” “What Have I Done,” “What I Cannot Change”
Up Next: Day 19: “Quittin’ Time” to “Seven Year Ache“