Tuesday Open Thread: Artist You Own the Most of?

Leeann's review of the new Randy Travis album mentioned that it's his seventeenth album. In the comments, LJ notes: “SEVENTEENTH ALBUM!!” She's right: that's a lot of albums! Usually, artists don't get much attention after the first few, but the good ones usually keep making music long after the limelight has moved on. But as LJ adds, “I love me some Randy and am so glad he’s still around.”

This got me thinking about those artists I've been following for years now. Among the pure country acts, they date back to 1990, though there are a few rock, pop and crossover acts that I dug when I was a young

er kid. But which one has the biggest chunk of my music collection?

Well, there's the old school way to do this, and the new school way, and I invite readers to do the one that makes the most sense for them.

Old School: What artists do you have the most albums of?

New School: What artists do you have the most songs of on your iPod/mp3 player?

I no longer buy CD's, but back in the day, I had more of Emmylou Harris, I believe.

But I'm kickin' it new school. Here are the ten country artists I have the most music of, though Johnny's #2 overall, thanks to a pop artist with a penchant for remix singles and such.

  1. Johnny Cash – 480
  2. Dolly Parton – 403
  3. Emmylou Harris – 372
  4. Pam Tillis – 242
  5. Dixie Chicks – 219
  6. Dwight Yoakam – 215
  7. Willie Nelson – 211
  8. Trisha Yearwood – 204
  9. Linda Ronstadt – 192
  10. Kathy Mattea – 177

How about all of you?



  1. When it comes to artists I really like, I’m a hopeless completest. So, I think Randy has the most albums in my collection. I even have a couple Greatest Hits of his. Vince is probably a close second. I don’t own his Pure Prairie League stuff, but I have all of his country albums. And the list goes on… I actually have a CD book full of artists with eight or more albums.

  2. I have almost every one of Reba’s albums since “Reba”

    and I have about over 200 of Reba’s songs on my Ipod

    so Reba dominates my list LOL

    as for albums Sara Evans (I think comes a close second)

    as for songs maybe Martina McBride or Sara is in second…..

  3. I have most of Trisha Yearwood’s albums starting with “Songbook.”

    Why don’t people buy albums anymore? I still love looking at the artistic design and the content of liner notes, especially if they have the lyrics and even if they’re full of names of people I don’t know.

  4. I’ll have to guess since most of my collection is CD’s and my mp3 collection is split into home and work sets.
    1. George Strait
    2. Lucero
    3. Johnny Cash
    4. Metallica
    5. Ryan Adams

  5. I am counting only artists who have issued ten or more albums – I’ve never inventoried the songs but I would guess that I am over 500 songs on the likes of Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Merle Haggard and some others. The two artists for whom I have the most recordings are not country: Duke Ellington amd Louis Armstrong

    I am basically complete on a number of artists, if you don’t count foreign language recordings and Christmas albums

    I am at the 100% mark on Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams (at least until the new transcription sets on Hank Sr. are available )

    I have at least 90% of everything recorded by Johnny Bush, Webb Pierce, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Johnny Cash, Connie Smith, Bobby Bare, Dave Dudley, Johnny Darrell, Patty Loveless, Randy Travis, George Strait, Don Walser and Hank Thompson.

    There are many artists I am at the 75%+ range.

    There are some artists so prolific such as George Jones and Bob Wills, that I have no way of knowing how complete I am. Then there is Willie Nelson who has guested on hundreds of albums by people neither you nor I will evr hear.

  6. Most of my music is from CDs, but it’s all on the computer. Windows Media Player reports that my top artists are:

    Merle Haggard – 365
    Waylon Jennings – 304
    Randy Travis – 294
    George Jones – 269
    Johnny Cash – 219

  7. Definitely Reba. I have all her albums, and all her songs on my iPod. I think Dolly Parton comes in as a close second.

  8. While I know they aren’t country, my end-all-be-all favorites since they were my first concert a hundred years ago are Fleetwood Mac. I have everything of theirs and always will.

    Now back to the actual question…. :-)
    I can’t say the same for any country acts really. Looking over my collection, I notice I tend to gradually not pick up “the latest release” and they seem to get dropped from my starting line-up, per se.
    For a time, I had everything by Kathy Mattea, Patty Loveless, and Trisha. I think the one I’ve kept up with best is probably Mary Chapin Carpenter.
    Presently, my main favorite is Sugarland and I do have all of their cd’s (including the “deluxe fan edition”).

    I agree about not buying cd’s much any more. It really has to be one of my fave artists, ie. Sugarland, Fleetwood Mac, Sarah McLachlan.

  9. Interesting question. By volume, I probably have more Willie, Emmylou, Vince and Reba songs than songs from anyone else. However, I have all but one Dwight album. So I have something like 90% of Dwight albums and something less than that for the others.

  10. I have all Patty Loveless’ albums, 20 in all, including her greatest hits variations and other compilations. In addition to these, I think I have most of her collaborations with other artists on their albums, duets, backing harmonies etc. Plus her contribution to several movie soundtracks…I am constantly amazed at the extremely high quality and consistency of her work. I never get tired of my Patty rotation!

    Next would be Sara Evans, who has far fewer actual albums, but is also very prolific in her work with other artists… I think I have almost every song Sara has ever recorded.

    Then it would be Brad Paisley…I have all his albums,…and I beleive this amazing singer, songwriter and guitarist is overdue for a greatest hits ablum!

    Count me as an album guy as well…one of the masses who appreciate the tangible, accessable and portable nature or the CD. A democratic product available to most everybody, computer literate or not. Album art and liner notes are irreplacable, imo. If forced to download in the future, I will have to be dragged kicking and screaming…

    And speaking of album art..the cover of Patty’s upcoming (Sept. 9th) album SLEEPLESS NIGHTS is one of the most beautiful, tasteful and artistically meaningful that I have ever seen. I have no doubt that the contents of Patty’s new album will be just as great.

    -Steve from Boston

  11. Definitely Reba for me too in terms of volume, at last count I had 51 CDs of Reba – studio albums and compilations. Some of her albums – Greatest Hits and Merry Christmas To You – were re-released with different covers in the early 90s so 2 copies of them is the only way to satisfy the completist in myself. And there are so many pressings and compilations of her early Mercury recordings …

    Second is Patty Loveless, I counted 15 of her CDs and 13 by Trisha Yearwood and Vince Gill. George Strait, Dolly Parton, and The Judds take up 10 CD slots each while I have 9 albums of Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, and Garth Brooks.

    Going digital doesn’t change much as I find over 400 tracks from Reba, and over 100 from Patty Loveless, Sugarland, and Vince Gill … Note the 100 Sugarland tracks also include recordings from the Jennifer Nettles Band, the predecessor of Sugarland.

  12. Top Country Artists:

    1. Johnny Cash
    2. Patty Loveless (I wish I had Steve F.’s collection, though!)
    3. Merle Haggard
    4. Loretta Lynn
    5. Trisha Yearwood

    I am not sure how many files as I need to accumulate all of them into one nice collection, and although I am proud of my musical catalog so far, I would trade with Paul any day!

  13. For me, it’s Linda Ronstadt, primarily her entire 1970s output, the later 90s pop/country albums, and her 2006 album with Ann Savoy (ADIEU FALSE HEART). As I’ve said, even though she has never considered herself strictly a country artist (and has been very straight with people about that fact), her impact on other female country artists has been considerable. And just recently, I got a CD that combines the two albums she did in 1967 with the Stone Poneys with four tracks from what was in name a third Stone Poneys album but which was arguably a de facto Ronstadt solo album. The formed a kind of bridge between the folk-rock era of the mid-1960s and the country-rock era of the 1970s.

  14. “though Johnny’s #2 overall, thanks to a pop artist with a penchant for remix singles and such.”

    Where there is Kevin, there is Mo. (Just guessing).

    I want to know how in the world it’s possible to have 200+ Dixie Chicks tracks! Do you own all of the pre-Natalie stuff or something?

    Interrogations aside, I’m very download-oriented (though I love owning physical CDs), very picky about what I actually purchase, and even pickier about what I keep (I routinely dispose of sub-par album filler, unless it’s from an artist I “collect,” in which case I keep it, but mark it so that it never gets uploaded to my iPod). Plus, I’ve only been seriously purchasing music for about five years (as long as I’ve had an income, basically). As a result of all that, there are precious few artists of whom I own more than 100 tracks. The only ones who meet that mark currently are Johnny Cash, The Beatles, and The Zombies.

  15. Dwight Yoakam, Alison Krauss (with and without Union Station), Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, The Dixie Chicks and Sara Evans dominate my collection, with lotsa CD singles and the like too :)

  16. I easily have over 200 Dixie Chicks tracks as well. Many obscure, live and one-of-a-kinds. Dedicated fans know where to find the good stuff! :D

    The Boss leads my collection (only because he’s put out more music than the Chicks and I’ve been a dedicated fan since I was a kid. He sealed my love for him forever with the Seeger Sessions.). After that, I don’t know if anyone stands out, although George Strait’s 50 Number Ones album alone puts him up there! lol. I rarely buy entire albums, but Dwight Yoakam is up there, along with Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers, The Beatles, Beach Boys, Tom Petty (digging Mudcrutch) and Alan Jackson.

  17. B Jonathan,, I gotta say, you have EXCELLENT taste in fine Country music! I like all five you have listed.

    As for my collection, I actually RE discovered Patty in 05, and had a lot of catching up to do. I missed many of her best songs in the nineties (long story), not to mention the absolute masterpieces she made since the turn of this century…

    Long story short, I mostly completed my collection with the help of Amazon, Ebay, Barnes and Noble, and Newbury Comics..new and used CDs I think it is a scandal that Patty’s albums are so poorly stocked at a lot of music stores and departments nowadays.(some do not even have her name-card dividers!) But I guess they need to make room for the current crop of Nash-Vegas Pop-tarts.

    The pattyloveless.net site has some great leads for some of her more obscure recordings..lotta treasures there. Some that I really recommend are Patty’s duet with Kris Kristofferson “Far Side Banks of Jordan” from the tribute album to June Carter Cash, called ANCHORED IN LOVE

    Also Patty’s duet with Radney Foster “The Rainbow Down the Road” from the soundtrack album to the movie Maverick.. GREAT song, co-written by Patty’s husband Emory Gordy Jr. with Radney…

    Also, the song “Where Are You Boy from the movie Tin Cup…not sure if this is a Country song per se, but it really showcases the magic in Patty’s voice, especially in the verses..

    Anyway, those are the main ones that come to mind right now…

    Also, I just ordered the Ricky Skaggs compilation tribute album to Bill Monroe, called Big Mon..It includes, (or features, by my reckoning) Patty’s version of Monroe’s most excellent “Close By”…I saw a Youtube performance of this awesome Bluegrass song by Patty and Ricky Skaggs, and was blown away…I am thrilled there is a recorded version by Patty, and I cannot wait to hear it!

    Hope this helps..these recomendations are if you want to supplement your collection with actual CDs…not sure about downloads..

    -Steve from Boston

  18. Thanks, Steve!

    One of the YouTube account holders actually has quite a nice collection of Patty Loveless clips. I hope you’ve had a chance to check it out. I’m ever-improving on my CD collection for her. I’ve had the same trouble at major retail stores, but thankfully we have quite a few older record stores in Nashville. I have all the major releases at this point except for the Christmas album, her debut album and 2-3 of the compilations (although I own some individual tracks). Next will be the duets and guest appearances. And of course “Sleepless Nights”!

    And you are absolutely right. Nothing compares to the actual CD (or record). May it never go out of style.

  19. Here are the Top 10 artists on my iPod.

    1 The Beatles 281
    2 George Strait 170
    3 Vince Gill 145
    4 Garth Brooks 135
    5 Johnny Cash 133
    6 Collin Raye 116
    7 Billy Yates 104
    8 Rodney Crowell 88
    9 Toby Keith 76
    10 Alan Jackson 66

    I used to have more by many of these on there while I was overseas (or digitally copied stuff) but since I’m home I deleated a lot off of my iPod.

  20. Oh, and I have almost every album ever recorded by Garth, Vince, Collin, Toby and Alan. I have all albums by many artists actually (Jon Randall comes to mind). I have every Billy Yates album released too.

  21. Keith Urban
    George Strait
    Brad Paisley
    Dierks Bently
    Tim McGraw
    Rascal Flatts(ashamed to say, but I’ve come to my senses now)

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