Music Video: Then & Now

The music video format has been around so long that most modern country artists began their career with one. Even some of the veterans from the era before music video now have decades of clips to their credit.

I thought it would be fun to compare the first clip of an artist to their most recent, since it lends itself so well to embedded video in the comments.

First up: Dolly Parton.

She released her first music video in the late seventies, accompanying her cover of The Beatles classic “Help!” in 1979:


Thirty years later, her most recent clip is for her current single “Backwoods Barbie.” I'd argue it's her strongest music video ever, by quite a wide margin:


Dolly Parton's video career spans thirty years. Alan Jackson's spans twenty years. His first video was released in 1989, for “Blue Blooded Woman.” It preceded his breakthrough hit “Here in the Real World.” I imagine if the singles were released in a different order, this could have been a big hit:


His most recent clip, “Sissy's Song” shows how much he's grown as an artist.

I think the first Pam Tillis video, “Killer Comfort”, is beyond description. It was the lead single from her 1983 pop album Above & Beyond

the Doll of Cutey, which receives its first CD release on June 9:

24 years later, she was still wandering around downtown, but this time she was singing about the “Band in the Window”:

Share your favorite pair of then & now country videos in the comments. You can embed videos in two ways:

From YouTube, just copy and paste the YouTube address, adding a v after http (httpv://).

From, copy the embed code under your video of choice, and paste it into the comment box. You can search for videos on the CMT site here.

You can use the preview function to make sure it looks right.



  1. Here’s “The Time Has Come” by Martina McBride- one of my favorite Martina songs- it’s a very simple video:


    Now here’s “Ride”- one of her best looking videos (It has some cool videos in the background!), although “Anyway” is probably my favorite Martina video:


  2. I may have to do these in separate posts, having a little technical difficulty, please bear with me.

    First, Sara Evans’ first official video: httpv://

  3. next a bonus live version of the same song, this one’s pretty rare:httpv://

  4. And finally, Sara’s most recent video, “Low”:httpv://

  5. A Country Universe fave….



  6. Love me some Jen Net!
    What a difference six years and a little success can make.



  7. Okay… since the other one won’t embed….

  8. Great choices folks, although I’m getting a “embedding disabled by request” message on some of these videos.

    Soul Miner’s Daughter…Love the Loveless choices,..I almost went with those two PL songs as well before I decided on Sara’s. :) Nice live performance of “Windows”.

    Kevin..Awesome Dolly Parton videos…I like the way she harmonizes with herself on “Help” and Backwoods Barbie is amazing.

  9. Gotta love the contrast :)


    Most recent:

    Although their best video is:

  10. Really cool idea – and I love seeing how these artists have evolved over time, their sound and their look.

    This was the first Reba music video I remember seeing – and it’s still my favorite. (from 1992)
    *Embedding is disabled on all UMG videos, so you have to click on the video itself and go to YouTube to watch ‘Take It Back’.

    And here’s my Reba 17 years later rocking the house at the ACM Awards last month in Las Vegas.

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