Mel Tillis

400 Greatest Singles of the Nineties: #325-#301

July 14, 2010 // 12 Comments

The first quarter of the countdown comes to a close, highlighted by excellent comeback attempts by T. Graham Brown, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson.

400 Greatest Singles of the Nineties: #325-#301

He Would Be Sixteen
Michelle Wright
1992 | Peak: #31


Sometimes the choices that you make linger forever. Here, a woman in her thirties drives past a high school football game, and her mind wanders to the painful void left in her heart from the son she gave up for adoption. – Kevin Coyne

It Matters to Me
Faith Hill
1995 | Peak: #1


Faith Hill’s sophomore album is a surprisingly deep set, filled with candid insights into different womens’ lives. The title track represents that spirit well, as a woman articulates the differences in her and her man’s relationship approaches with impressive precision. – Dan Milliken

The 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade, Part 4: #70-#61

December 3, 2009 // 16 Comments

The 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade, Part 4

70 Tillis

Pam Tillis, It’s All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis

By the time she released a tribute to her father Mel, she’d become something of a legend in her own right. So it’s no surprise that she approached Mel’s stellar songwriting catalog as if she was recording any other studio album, taking the best of the bunch and making them her own. Bonus points for preserving the original fiddle breakdown from “Heart Over Mind” while making that classic shuffle a forlorn ballad, and a few more for hitting the archives of the Country Music Hall of Fame until she found a forgotten gem that should’ve been a hit back in the day (“Not Like it Was With You.”) – Kevin Coyne

Recommended Tracks: “Mental Revenge”, “Detroit City”

69 Dwight

Dwight Yoakam,

Yoakam takes a new, inspired spin on the greatest hits album concept, presenting us with a hearty sampling (over 20 songs) of his catalog served acoustic style. It simply works for the country legend. He introduces some delightful new twists and turns to his old classics, and as it should go with acoustic music, the album is driven by unadulterated, raw vocals, coupled with honest storytelling – the purest form of country music. – Tara Seetharam

Ten Ways to Fix the CMA Awards

November 15, 2008 // 15 Comments

The CMA Awards should be the evening every year where country music is shown in the best possible light. However, it’s been many years now since the CMA fully took advantage of the opportunities that prime-time slot presents. Here are ten ways the show can get back on track, and maybe even be better than ever. 1. Expand the Ballot Limiting the second ballot to only twenty entries per category was a disaster, resulting in some truly lackluster nominees. Take a page from the Grammy playbook and put all eligible submissions on the second ballot, regardless of vote total. Have the CMA voters choose five entries from a wider swath of nominees, and create a more level playing field for all of the labels, major and indie. 2. Limit the Number of Entries per Artist The CMA can go one step further and improve the Grammy model by eliminating the first ballot entirely, Read More

100 Greatest Women, #35: Pam Tillis

May 28, 2008 // 14 Comments

100 Greatest Women #35 Pam Tillis She grew up the daughter of a country music icon. As a baby, she’d nap in his guitar case. But Pam Tillis resisted her musical heritage for many years before finally embracing it and producing some of the best country music of the past two decades. Growing up in Nashville, Tillis lost interest in country music once she discovered the Beatles. She had a taste for the country-rock of the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt, but felt no connection to the scene of her father, Mel Tillis. Quite the wild child in her teen years, she was nearly killed in a car crash when she was still in high school, and needed multiple reconstructive surgeries on the road to recovery. Tillis sang backup sometimes for her dad, but she was more interested in exploring other genres of music. She moved out to San Francisco and Read More

Mel Tillis, Vince Gill & Ralph Emery newest Hall of Famers

August 7, 2007 // 5 Comments

Singer-songwriter legends Mel Tillis & Vince Gill will join country media icon Ralph Emery in the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. Tillis enters the Hall of Fame in the performer category for artists that received national prominence between World War II and 1975. In addition to being a former CMA Entertainer of the Year, he’s also the writer of classics for other artists, most notably “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”, “Detroit City”, “I Ain’t Never”, “Burning Memories” and “Honey (Open That Door.)” Here’s hoping daughter Pam will help induct him, just like she did at the Opry this year! Gill is the third inductee in the new performer’s category for artists that received national prominence from 1975 to the present day, following Alabama in 2005 and George Strait in 2006. At age 50, Gill might be the youngest living inductee ever, but I have to Read More

Pam Tillis, Sweetheart’s Dance

May 27, 2007 // 3 Comments

Sweetheart’s Dance April 26, 1994 After two successful albums with producers Paul Worley & Ed Seay, Pam Tillis needed a change. She approached her label with a request to co-produce her third country album, and with their full support, she entered the studio with Steve Fischell to create Sweetheart’s Dance, the album that would bring Tillis the most critical and commercial success in her career and earn her the coveted CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award. Sweetheart’s Dance distinguishes itself among the rest of Tillis’ catalog and the bulk of mainstream country releases during the mid-nineties with its relentless, joyous optimism. The album slows down only three times over ten standout tracks, a ratio of uptempos to ballads that is incredibly rare among female country artists. What’s most impressive is the range of styles those uptempo songs explore, making each one distinctive.

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