A Country Music Conversation: Sirius Top 1000 Country Songs of All Time, #550-#541

NASHVILLE - OCTOBER 11: Country music singer Sylvia (aka: Sylvia Jane Hutton) poses for a portrait for The 16th Annual Country Music Association Awards, (CMA Awards show), at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn., October 11, 1982. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Eight of these ten songs went all the way to #1, but few of them warrant inclusion on this list.

 

#550

Sara Evans, “A Little Bit Stronger”

#1 | 2010

JK: I appreciate how Evans’ performance reflects her narrator’s growing confidence, but I’ve always found the melody on this single awkward and the production overwrought. It wasn’t a hit because of some unfortunate timing, but I’d swap this out for “Coalmine.” So Wrong (This Song)

KJC:  This one took time to grow on me, but it became one of my favorite Sara Evans singles over time.  A little high, but a keeper.  Too High

ZK: I’m happy she made a comeback, but all this sappy motivational song is missing is the Martina McBride performance. So Wrong (This Song)

 

#549

Sylvia, “Nobody”

#1 | 1982

KJC:  A borderline novelty record that crossed over during that small window of time when early 80’s AC was indistinguishable from early 80’s country.  These are the hits that you use to start off the list. You don’t save them for this close to the top half.  Too High

JK: Sylvia’s a pleasant enough vocalist, but, God, I have always hated this record, and it’s aged even worse than most of the badly-dated hits of its era. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

ZK: “Nobody” wanted this song this high on the list … or on it all, for that matter. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

 

#548

Blake Shelton, “Over”

#1 | 2012

JK: Repetitive and ungodly dull, like a meta-commentary on Shelton’s career. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

KJC:   Please make it stop.  So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

ZK: One of his most pointless records, and that’s saying something. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

 

#547

Hank Williams, “Mind Your Own Business”

#5 | 1949

KJC: I’m not going to argue against a Hank Williams hit being on this list, because Hank Williams. But again, Too High

JK: A fine inclusion with a bafflingly high ranking. Too High

ZK: I could never argue with too much Hank Williams on a list like this, but this is just … fine? Too High

 

#546

Easton Corbin, “A Little More Country Than That”

#1 | 2009

JK: Ah, the late aughts run when rote “list songs” like this were among the genre’s biggest sins. This was one of the less egregious examples of that trend, but I’d still say So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong).

KJC:  A charming traditional country identity song that would’ve been wonderful to hear 300 entries ago.  Too High 

ZK: Like with “All Over The Road,” Corbin’s charm as a performer saves an otherwise bad lyric. So Wrong (This Song)

 

#545

Kenny Chesney, “She’s Got it All”

#1 | 1997

KJC: Chesney has enough hits that filler like this doesn’t need to be on here.  So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

JK: When country radio started phasing out men who could really and truly sing. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

ZK: She’s got it all; this song’s got nothing. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

 

#544

Willie Nelson, “All of Me”

#3 | 1978

JK: I’m not going to quibble with anything from Stardust. About Right

KJC:   A surprisingly jaunty take on a classic, “All of Me” is among the many highlights of Willie’s landmark Stardust set. But again, I’m going to say Too High.

ZK: Like Kevin said earlier, on a list measuring quality and influence, you use songs like this to start off the list, especially when matched against the rest of Nelson’s discography. Too High   

 

#543

George Strait, “Heartland”

#1 | 1993

KJC:  The cinematic purpose of this song was to mock the bombastic arena sounds that were seeping into country music at the time.  Strait’s too strong a singer for this to sound bad, but it’s hardly a highlight of his illustrious career.  So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

JK: Strait’s “stand there and sing” artistry works well for his recording career but made him the wrong choice for something like Pure Country. He sings this fine, of course, but why. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

ZK: Truthfully, I enjoy hearing a Strait with a tighter production muscle, but this is loud simply for the sake of being loud. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

 

#542

Rascal Flatts, “My Wish”

#1 | 2006

JK: Considering their catalogue, it’s really saying something that this is among their absolute worst. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

KJC:  Flat out terrible. Flatts out terrible?  So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

ZK: Ah, motivational Rascal Flatts – Country music’s favorite punching bag in the 2000s. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

 

#541

Johnny Cash, “Ballad of a Teenage Queen”

#1 | 1958

KJC:   Johnny Cash made a teeny bopper record? With a ridiculous plotline? And it spent 10 weeks at #1? More than any other Cash single? And it’s way Too High?

JK: I mean… It’s completely absurd, but I’m also not mad at it. I’d have it in the 1000-950 range, though. Too High

ZK: It was a dark time for country music. So Wrong (This Song)

Previous: #560-#551 | Next:  #540-#531

9 Comments

  1. Re. “Ballad Of A Teenage Queen”: I wouldn’t worry too much; Mr. Cash has some biggies still yet to come.

    Re. “Nobody”: Yes, that song and Sylvia were kind of the examples of the early 80s idea of what I guess was still called “countrypolitan” in that era (and it reached #15 on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1982). They probably could have subbed “Drifter” or “The Matador”. But I’ve heard worse on country radio, especially the last ten years…and not all the guilty parties are necessarily men, either.

  2. I would’ve chosen “Coal Mine” instead too!

    “Nobody” is a guilty pleasure that I’ve never bothered to purchase.

    I also love “Move It on Over.”

  3. Not too much to get excited about on this entry, but…

    I do love Sylvia. “Nobody” wasn’t a personal favorite but there’s no denying that it struck a chord with country and pop listeners when it was released. I’m glad to see she made it on the list at least once. My favorites by her were her first top 10 single “Tumbleweed”, “Like Nothing Ever Happened”, and my very favorite “Fallin’ In Love” from 1985.

    I am a fan of Easton Corbin and I really like “I’m A Little More Country Than That”. It’s probably way too high on this list, but I’m glad it made it at all.

  4. Ugh !

    While I like the Easton Corbin, George Strait, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash songs, the only song that belong on this list at all is Hank Williams’ “Move It On Over”, which belongs somewhere in the 800s

  5. Mostly a forgettable list, but I always kinda liked “Nobody.” It’s placed about right.

    I love Hank Sr. as much as the next guy, but this one is a little too high. It’s ok, but just not great.

    “My Wish” a classic! a few hundred spots too low.

  6. The only Sylvia songs I ever heard are “Nobody” and “Like Nothing Ever Happened” and I prefer the latter.

    I like Steve’s “No room for John Denver?”

    Also like Willie’s “All of Me” but I already have the song by Canadian artists Anne Murray and The Western Swing Authority, a group I first heard of in 2015 on the Country Perspective blog. Thank you Josh. Still love their music.

  7. Love Willie Nelson’s version of “All Of Me,” and it’s one of my personal favorites of his. It’s just so smooth and satisfying.

    “Nobody” was always a guilty pleasure for me, but I agree it’s too high. I’m also glad to see Sylvia on here at all, but I probably would’ve included “Drifter” instead. I also really like “Like Nothing Ever Happened,” “I Never Quite Got Back From Loving You,” and “Cry Just A Little Bit.” I’ve said it before, but I’ll gladly take pop country from the early 80’s over the kind of pop country we’ve had to endure over the last 10-15 years.

    I also like the Sara Evans song, and I remember it being one of my favorites at the time because it sounded so refreshing compared to all the “I’m Country” list songs and early examples of bro-country that were flooding the airwaves. Still hope to see “No Place That Far” on here, though. I know there’s no chance of seeing my other favorite “Fool, I’m A Woman.” Interesting comment about Martina doing this song. I know she would’ve knocked it out of the park!

    I have to disagree with you guys on the Kenny Chesney song, as I still love hearing it today. Probably wouldn’t have ranked it as high, though. It may not have too much going lyrically, but man, it sure still puts me in a better mood when I hear it. Again, it may be mostly the late 90’s nostalgia talking, but I also love Sonny Garrish’s steel guitar work on it, plus the fiddle in the beginning. I’ll gladly take this over most of his Jimmy Buffet wannabe/frat boy stuff from the 2000’s.

    Totally with you guys on “Little More Country Than That.” I wouldn’t like the song nearly as much if it weren’t for Easton’s vocals, the neo-traditional arrangement, and the irresistible melody. Part of the reason I never really got the George Strait comparisons with Easton is because I can’t imagine George himself doing a list song like this, as he’s rarely done such songs to my knowledge (except for his little entry here). Easton, though, has done a few more “I’m Country” songs since then.

    Speaking of Strait, they definitely whiffed on this selection. Easily one of his most overrated songs, imo, and my least favorite from Pure Country.

    Yet another boring Blake Shelton entry. Yawn.

    Oh great, more soccer mom country from the Flatts. Just what this list needed more of (insert sarcasm).

    Always liked the Hank Williams tune, and I’m glad to see it here.

    Otherwise, yeah this is definitely a step back from the last group.

  8. While I like Willie’s version of “All of Me”, there are better version – check out Billie Holiday (1941) or Frank Sinatra (1948 and several times thereafter)

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