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Dwight Yoakam Starter Kit

May 3, 2009 Kevin John Coyne 22

Few artists command as much critical acclaim as Dwight Yoakam, yet he was also a stunningly successful commercial act from the start. Nine of his releases have been certified gold or better, and his biggest set to date – This Time – has sold more than three million copies.

His catalog is deep with classic cuts. Here are ten of the best, a solid introduction to one of the genre’s greatest talents.

And while it’s not represented on the list, I highly recommend his stellar Under the Covers, an excellent covers album that is best heard in its entirety.

“Guitars, Cadillacs” from the 1986 album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.

It’s tempting to kick off with “Honky Tonk Man”, Yoakam’s effective cover of Johnny Horton’s classic that was also his breakthrough hit. But what’s missing from that track is Yoakam’s signature heartache and pain. In Yoakam’s best songs, he’s not seeking out the night life because he enjoys it. It’s to distract him from the loneliness and rejection that his lover has inflicted upon him.

“Streets of Bakersfield” (featuring Buck Owens) from the 1988 album Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room

Yoakam was instrumental in making the younger generations aware of the importance of Buck Owens, clearly Yoakam’s strongest country influence. When he chose to revive an old Owens tune, he invited the man himself to help him out. The end result was a #1 hit that was a comeback for Owens and a signature smash for both of them.

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Conway Twitty Starter Kit

March 15, 2009 Kevin John Coyne 17

Starter Kits are Country Universe’s way of introducing country music fans to an artist that they might not be fully aware of. Our first Starter Kit features Conway Twitty, the legendary Hall of Famer with

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Discussion: An Elvis Kind of Christmas

December 6, 2008 Guest Contributor 6

Through the wonders of digital technology, duets with the deceased are not only possible, but convincing collaborations can be constructed from the transcendent art they’ve left behind.  To honor Elvis Presley, a new collection of

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100 Greatest Women, #17: Brenda Lee

June 13, 2008 Kevin John Coyne 5

100 Greatest Women #17 Brenda Lee She was the rockabilly superstar that Music City had dreamed would come along, a pioneer who made the fusion of early rock and country commercially viable. She made timeless

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