Wasting away again in Siriusville.
Tim McGraw, “Something Like That”
#1 | 1999
KJC: This was a massive hit, but for me, it was a step down in quality from his Everywhere singles and “Please Remember Me.” Too High
JK: It’s been a while since we covered the only two singles of his that I’d have anywhere near the top half of this list, let alone in the top 100… Too High
ZK: On personal preference, I’d only maybe have “Just to See You Smile” here. On impact, “Live Like You Were Dying.” We don’t just need the big hits anymore. We need the enduring classics. This is a fun and easy to sing along to, but … Too High
Roger Miller, “Dang Me”
#1 | 1964
JK: I actually like this one significantly less than “Chug-A-Lug,” which I know isn’t the correct opinion. Certainly an entry for the top 250 or so, but this strikes me as Too High.
ZK: That thing when a writer is known for his wit and humor yet actually pens songs with much sadder subtexts. It’s not Miller’s crowing moment – we’ll get to that – but I’m absolutely OK, with this being here. About Right
KJC: I’ve been a bit critical of them ranking so many Roger Miller songs toward the top of the list, but this one definitely belongs here. About Right
Ronnie Milsap, “Smoky Mountain Rain”
#1 | 1980
ZK: I agree with my colleagues below that Milsap should have one single here. I’m at the point where I’m nitpicky to slot this in the 90s, but it is a really love song that may be among Milsap’s best. Too High
KJC: This is an interesting choice for top ranked Ronnie Milsap hit. It’s certainly one of his best records, though truth be told, I’d rather see “It Was Almost Like a Song” up here. Too High
JK: I’m surprised that this is the one they ranked highest for Milsap. I’m not mad about it; just surprised. It’s a lovely record that has held up better than many of his hits that are badly dated by their production. Milsap certainly deserves an entry in the top 100, so I’ll say this is probably About Right.
Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty, “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man”
#1 | 1973
KJC: They spelled “After the Fire is Gone” wrong. Too High
JK: A terrific duet, sure, but no way it belongs here. Too High
ZK: Think of an alternate timeline where we already discussed this somewhere in the 300s or so and we’re here to talk about “After the Fire is Gone” instead. Nice, isn’t it? Too High
Dierks Bentley, “Drunk On a Plane”
#3 | 2014
JK: I went to bat for this single when we did our year-end wrap up in 2014, and even I would have this, at best, ranked somewhere in the 900s. This is the first ranking that strikes me as outright trolling. Too High
ZK: Clever for the bro era, I’ll give it that. And it’s ridiculously stupid to the point of being really good. But unless y’all are looking to Up On the Ridge for inspiration for one of Bentley’s highest-ranked songs, try again. Too High
KJC: The melody is a poor man’s version of the New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give” coda. It’s still a charming song. But #86? Way Too High
Sammy Kershaw, “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful”
#1 | 1993
ZK: Kershaw would get my vote as one of the more underrated artists of the ’90s, but I don’t even know if my favorite single from him – “Yard Sale” – is top 100 worthy. Too High
KJC: Definitely the best of his big hit singles, but not one of the hundred best records of the last hundred years. Too High
JK: I genuinely don’t know what I would tag as Kershaw’s best single– he was consistently good and never great– and this hit is reasonable to include on the list, but one of the top 10% in the genre’s history? Really? Too High
Jimmy Dean, “Big Bad John”
#1 | 1961
KJC: A fantastic inclusion that is very worthy of its ranking. Good catch, Sirius. About Right
JK: It’s so strange to see something like this ranked About Right.
ZK: I love this strange little saga song in all of its intentionally overblown glory. Absolutely About Right.
Don Williams, “Tulsa Time”
#1 | 1978
JK: I’d have three Williams singles in my own top 100; this wouldn’t be one of the three, but I’d have it in the top half of the overall list. Heresy: I prefer Pistol Annies’ cover of this to Williams’ original. Too High
ZK: Heresy as it is to say, I’m not a huge Williams fan. But this song has a killer groove and real kick to it that I’ve always adored to his softer material. Not the correct opinion, I know, but it’s only Too High by a little bit. Also, TIL there’s a Pistol Annies version.
KJC: It’s an ACM Single of the Year, but I’ve never fully understood its notoriety. I’d swap it with “I Believe in You.” Too High
Luke Bryan, “Drink a Beer”
#1 | 2013
ZK: “Get it? ‘Cause it’s a Luke Bryan song and, like, not actually about beer?”
This isn’t a clever bait-and-switch; it’s cementing your A-list status as a walking, ass-shaking stereotype that can’t understand actual depth. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)
KJC: For me, this is Luke Bryan’s finest moment on record, and it’s an early indication that its co-writer, Chris Stapleton, could capture desperate sadness like lightning in a bottle. I’ll get the knives back out for his other top 100 entry, but this one is only a little Too High.
JK: I generally find it pathetic when the Bros attempt to feign depth: Things like Florida Georgia Line’s “Dirt” or Chase Rice’s “Three Chords and the Truth” prove that these acts truly are the shallow, emotionally stunted man-children that their party anthems suggest. This song is no exception. It’s impossible to praise without a for Luke Bryan qualifier, and I tapped out my praise for him on “Country Girl (Shake It For Me),” which is at least honest about his capabilities and is catchy. This? Pass. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)
Jimmy Buffett, “Margaritaville”
#13 | 1977
KJC: Why not just add Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s a Heartache” and Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life,” too? This is a waste of valuable space. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)
JK: I would 100% include that Bonnie Tyler song in the top half of my own list. I would not for a nanosecond consider including “Margaritaville,” no matter how many Chesney’s and Zac Brown Band hits it directly inspired. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)
ZK: No, I actually like the idea of including this, and not just because it could easily replace whatever Kenny Chesney entries are left here. Buffett understood that sometimes the island life had a somber emptiness to it, and this is brutal enough to compete with the best in country. Too High