Our Best Singles of 1993 list continues with a collection of #1 hits, breakthrough hits, and should’ve been hits. Kicking things off is the debut single from one of the decade’s most successful vocal groups.
“Goodbye Says it All”
Written by Bobby Fischer, Charlie Black and Johnny MacRae
#9 – SG | #31 – BF
BlackHawk enjoyed a nice run of hits from their debut album, including this kiss-off song. Lead singer Henry Paul was best known for his work in the Southern Rock band The Outlaws, but his distinctive voice adapted well to mainstream country, too. “Goodbye” showed off the great harmonies from the trio (Paul, Dave Robbins and the late Van Stephenson), and it also proved the adage that nothing good has ever written been down in lipstick (Patty Loveless’ “She Drew a Broken Heart” is Exhibit B). – Sam Gazdziak
Whether they’re about lovers and friends or simply platonic friendships, country music has a ton of songs about friends and tributes to friends. What are some of your favorite friend songs?
Here’s my list:
- Dan Seals, “One Friend”
- Vince Gill, “That Friend of Mine”
- Don Williams, “You’re My Best Friend”
- Tracy Lawrence, “Find Out Who Your Friends Are”
- Garth Brooks, “A Friend to Me”
What are some of your favorite music Youtube finds? Here are five of mine.
1. Vince Gill & Patty Loveless, “Go Rest High on that Mountain”
This is from George Jones’ memorial service from a couple of years ago. The spoken tributes from Vince and Patty are nice, but if their emotional performance doesn’t move you, then I’m not sure what would.
The combined efforts of nine women and three men form the upper echelon of our Best Albums list from 1993. This embarrassment of riches showcases just how much great music there was to choose from that year, especially given how many of the genre’s biggest and most acclaimed stars – Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Pam Tillis, just to name a few – were between albums that year.
It was also a strong and diverse enough year that despite some overall consensus among the lists of all of the writers, each one of us has a different album at #1 on our personal lists.
Enjoy the second half of our list, and look for the Singles list to kick off next weekend.
#1 – JK | #3 – SG
In jumping to a major label, Uncle Tupelo was supposed to give alt-country its Nirvana; though that didn’t happen, the critical acclaim and indie following that Anodyne earned served as an impetus for the nascent alt-country scene.
An album that’s both legitimately great and historically important in equal measure, Anodyne proved that alt-country was commercially viable as a refuge for artists and fans who felt at-odds with the increasingly slick mainstream country of the early 1990s. Borne of long-simmering conflicts between co-frontmen Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar, Anodyne is a sprawling and ambitious album that finds Uncle Tupelo at their most fully-realized as a band.
Drawing heavily from country-rock, folk, and traditional styles, it’s easy to hear the band’s lingering influence on both contemporary Americana and on modern country acts like Miranda Lambert and Eric Church. – Jonathan Keefe
Recommended Tracks: “Acuff-Rose,” “The Long Cut,” “Chickamunga”
It’s gotten to the point that I can’t listen to more than two country singles in a row without wanting to hurt somebody.
So here’s the daily top five. What are some songs that are your palate cleansers, that you can always go back to when you need to wipe out the aftertaste of some really bad music?
Here’s my list:
- Alison Krauss & Union Station, “The Lucky One”
- Rosanne Cash with Johnny Cash, “September When it Comes”
- Kathy Mattea, “Where’ve You Been”
- Jason Isbell, “Elephant”
- Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill, “How Great Thou Art”
Not only is the alliteration kind of fun, Murder Monday seems appropriate, because who doesn’t want to murder Monday?
What are some of your favorite murder songs?
The murder came as a delicious surprise in the song that I’ve chosen as my first choice.
- Old Crow Medicine Show, “My Good Gal”
- Vince Gill, “Molly Brown”
- Johnny Cash, “Delia’s Gone”
- Willie Nelson, “Time of the Preacher”
- Gillian Welch, “Caleb Meyer”
As we grow older, our tastes change and some would even say that they mature. Such is the case with me, as you’ll see in the list below. There was a time when I did not like these artists (gasp!) and a time when I didn’t like these songs. However, something made them grow on me to the point that I absolutely love them now.
Which artists and songs have grown on you over time?
Here are my lists:
- Willie Nelson
- Dwight Yoakam
- Emmylou Harris
- Miranda Lambert
- Sturgill Simpson
- Josh Turner, “Another Try”
- Vince Gill, “Go Rest High on that Mountain”
- Dierks Bentley, “What Was I Thinking”
- George Strait, “Troubadour
- Randy Travis, “Before You Kill Us All”
Following up on today’s Say What?, we’re going full Gill for today’s Daily Top Five.
What are your favorite Vince Gill albums, songs, and harmony tracks?
Here are my lists:
- These Days
- High Lonesome Sound
- I Still Believe in You
- The Key
- Pocket Full of Gold
- The Key to Life
- Worlds Apart
- Threaten Me with Heaven
- What You Give Away
- When I Call Your Name
- “I Don’t Paint Myself into Corners” – Trisha Yearwood
- “No Place That Far” – Sara Evans
- “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me” – Rosanne Cash
- “How Great Thou Art” – Carrie Underwood
- “Timber, I’m Falling in Love” – Patty Loveless
In a long, fascinating interview with the Houston Press, Vince Gill was asked about the recent controversy involving female artists and country radio.
Here’s what he had to say:
“That’s one of the greatest tragedies in this stretch of life for me,” Gill says. “Because I’ve been inspired as much or more by women artists, equally, than I have as men. So if there’s only a couple that are getting the opportunity to really knock it out of the park at radio, then you just go, “What about Patsy Cline/Kitty Wells/Tammy Wynette/Loretta Lynn?’
“I could go on and on and on and on and name you about 50 great female artists,” Gill continues. “And I don’t know why that is. To me, they’re making much more…interesting records. They’re saying more things I’d prefer to hear, lyrically and song-wise, and that’s compelling. This Ashley Monroe kid, she writes songs like she’s 80 years old. It’s remarkable, and it’s not dumbing it down. It’s not going for the lowest common denominator. It’s so refreshing, you know?”
We know, Vince. We definitely know!
Bonus quote on his duet partners Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, and Patty Loveless:
Dolly would be a great one; getting to do “I Will Always Love You” with her. Anything I’ve ever done with Alison Krauss has been pretty magical. To me one of the most seamless-sounding partners has been Patty Loveless. I think we only maybe did one “real” duet together over all these years, but we both sang on each other’s first hit records.
I’ve been singing with her since, gosh, the mid-’80s, when she made her first record and we sang together. There’s something magical about our voices together that I was always drawn to. She sang on “When I Call Your Name,” “Pocket Full of Gold,” and I sang on a bunch of her hits — “If My Heart Had Windows” and then backgrounds on probably 15 or 20 of her records over the years.
I remember an ill-informed journalist reviewing a Patty Loveless album in the mid-nineties and suggesting Loveless get Gill to sing on some of her songs as payback for the harmony she did on his, completely oblivious to the fact that it was Loveless returning the favor for Gill’s work on her eighties hits.
That guy’s probably a radio consultant now.
Once again, technical difficulties derailed yesterday’s Daily Top Five. So we’re doubling down today.
Ever notice how the Vocal Event categories at country award shows honor harmony vocals as much as they do real, full-fledged duets? The spiritual godfather of all of this is “You and I”, the not quite duet by Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle, “You and I.” But the modern trend goes back to the award-sweeping “It’s Your Love”, the not quite duet by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
So for today’s Daily Double Top Fives, we’re asking you to make the distinction that the award shows don’t. What are your favorite five duets, which feature two artists actually trading off lines, and what are your favorite five “all-star” harmony vocals?
Here are mine:
Top Five Duets
- Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, “The Last Thing on My Mind”
- Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty, “After the Fire is Gone”
- Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton, “You Can’t Make Old Friends”
- Suzy Bogguss & Billy Dean, “Something Up My Sleeve”
- Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss, “Whiskey Lullaby”
Top Five Harmony Vocals
- Linda Ronstadt with Emmylou Harris, “I Can’t Help it (If I’m Still in Love with You)”
- Tim McGraw with Faith Hill, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”
- Patty Loveless with George Jones, “You Don’t Seem to Miss Me”
- Vince Gill with Patty Loveless, “When I Call Your Name”
- Trisha Yearwood with Emmylou Harris, “Woman Walk the Line”