iPod Playlist: Originals And Covers

As I’m sure the rest of you do, I make playlists all the time. Many of them are lists of individual artists, but some of them have a concept.

My latest playlist is of covers. First, I have the original version (or the one that’s famous for being the original) followed by my favorite cover of it. My only rule is that I have to like both versions. So, songs where I like the cover but not the original won’t make the list.

I’ll share a sampling of what I have so far, as long as you share your latest or greatest concept playlist in the comments:

1. Buddy Miller, “Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go” (Miranda Lambert)
2. Hank Williams, “Hey, Good Lookin’” (The Mavericks)
3. Elvis Presley, “Suspicious Minds (Dwight Yoakam)
4. Dolly Parton, “Coat of Many Colors (Shania Twain/Alison Krauss)
5. Waylon Jennings, “Dreaming My Dreams with You” (Alison Krauss and Union Station)
6. Johnny Cash, “Understand Your Man” (Dwight Yoakam)
7. Merle Haggard, “The Way I Am” (Alan Jackson)
8. John Prine, “That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round” (Miranda Lambert)
9. John Anderson, “Swingin’” (LeAnn Rimes)
10. Buddy Miller, “Don’t Tell Me” (Alicia Nugent)
11. Kasey Chambers, “Pony” (Ashley Monroe)
12. Tammy Wynette, “Stand by Your Man” (Dixie Chicks)
13. Bill Monroe, “Blue Moon of Kentucky” (John Fogerty)
14. Conway Twitty, “Goodbye Time” (Blake Shelton)
15. Hank Williams, “I Saw the Light” (Blind Boys of Alabama/ Hank Williams Jr.)
16. Bob Dylan, “Shelter from the Storm” (Rodney Crowell/Emmylou Harris)
17. Merle Haggard, “Today I Started Loving You Again” (Buddy Jewell/Miranda Lambert)
18. Nitty Gritty Dirtband, “Fishing in the Dark” (Garth Brooks)
19. The White Stripes, “Dead Leaves in the Dirty Ground” (Chris Thile)
20. Al Green, “Lets Stay Together” (John Berry)
21. David Allan Coe, “You Never Even Called Me by My Name” (Doug Supernaw)
22. The Decemberists, “Shankill Butchers” (Sarah Jarosz
23. Steve Earle, “My Old Friend the Blues” (Patty Loveless)
24. Eric Clapton, “Lay Down Sally” (Delbert McClinton)
25. Fred Eaglesmith, “Time to Get a Gun” (Miranda Lambert)
26. Dolly Parton, “Jolene” (The White Stripes)
27. Johnny Cash, “I Still Miss Someone” (Suzy Bogguss)
28. Pearl Jam, “Better Man” (Sugarland)
29. Kris Kristofferson, “From the Bottle to the Bottom” (Dierks Bentley/Kris Kristofferson)
30. Don Williams, “Lord, I hope this Day is Good” (Lee Ann Womack)
31. Bob Dylan, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s all right” (Randy Travis)


  1. You mentioned “Coat of Many Colors,” and that reminded me of the version Emmylou Harris included on her Pieces of the Sky album, which I really enjoyed. I’ve been impressed with how Emmylou can cover a song, even one that’s already well-known, in a way that sounds distinctly her own while still remaining true to the spirit of the original.

  2. So, I don’t really know where to post this, and last time I sent an email to a writer here, I didn’t get a response.
    I think it would be cool if you guys did “Song (not single) reviews,” and the readers here could choose the songs to be reviewed. Maybe one song per week. For example, I would love to see a review of “Someday When I Stop Loving You” by any of the writers here. It is such a great song, and it is a shame we will never get to see an official review for it. This would also be a good way to discover new music. Anyways, just an idea.

  3. *”Someday When I Stop Loving You” by Carrie Underwood

    and just to clarify, by no means am I suggesting that you scrap single reviews (as that is what so many people come here for)..I just think (album) song reviews would be a nice addition.

  4. Very nice list Leeann. While I’m a big fan of John Anderson’s “Swingin,” I had trouble getting into LeAnn’s version. I much prefer Chris Young’s cover on his Voices EP. I’ve yet to hear The White Stripes cover “Jolene.” Consider my interest piqued!

  5. I don’t have that many concept playlists. Usually they’re big mixes by genre or artist, or something that I need for a CU feature, like the singles we’re doing retro reviews on.

    But I do have one that I like called “Favorite Artists Live”, which is live performances only.

    Here’s a random twenty from that list:

    1. Changed the Locks – Lucinda Williams (Live at the Fillmore)

    2. The Troublemaker – Willie Nelson (bonus track on album’s reissue)

    3. Circle – Sugarland (Live on the Inside)

    4. You’ll Think of Me – Keith Urban (Sessions @ AOL)

    5. The Long Way Around – Dixie Chicks (Accidents & Accusations Tour, Boston)

    6. 25 Minutes to Go – Johnny Cash (At Folsom Prison)

    7. Please Mr. Please – Olivia Newton-John (Physical Tour, 1982)

    8. Long Long Time – Linda Ronstadt (live – bonus track on reissue)

    9. Here I Am – Patty Loveless (Austin City Limits, 2002)

    10. Can’t Stop the Girl – Mary Chapin Carpenter, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis, and Lorrie Morgan (1994 CMA Awards)

    11. Maybe it Was Memphis – Pam Tillis (At the Ryman, 1997)

    12. Jesus of Suburbia – Green Day (Bullet in a Bible)

    13. Beat Goes On – Madonna (Sticky & Sweet Tour, NJ)

    14. The Chair – George Strait (Live from the Astrodome)

    15. Long Year – Todd Snider (Near Truths and Hotel Rooms)

    16. If I Had Only Known – Trisha Yearwood (CMT Giants)

    17. Papa Don’t Preach – Madonna (Re-Invention Tour, Lisbon)

    18. Toxic – Nickel Creek (YouTube rip)

    19. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival (The Concert)

    20. It Must Have Been Love – Roxette (Tourism)

  6. Good list

    Technically your #17
    17. Merle Haggard, “Today I Started Loving You Again” (Buddy Jewell/Miranda Lambert)

    Should read
    17. Sammi Smith, “Today I Started Loving You Again” (Buddy Jewell/Miranda Lambert) since Hag did not release the song as the “A” side of a single

    Some I Like
    “Fools” Johnny Duncan (Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius)
    “Green Green Grass of Home – Johnny Darrell (Porter Wagoner, Tom Jones)
    “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love To Town)” – Johnny Darrell (Kenny Rogers & The First Eddition)
    “Calling Baton Rouge” – Newgrass Revival (GArth Brooks)
    “Right or Wrong” – Bob Wills (George Strait)
    “Drinking Champaign” – Cal Smith (George Strait)
    “Just One Time” – Don Gibson (Connie Smith)
    “I Wanna Go Home” – Billy Grammer (retitled as “Detroit City” Bobby Bare)
    “Statue of A Fool” – Jack Greene (Brian Collins, Ricky Van Shelton)
    “Don’t Take Her She’s All I’ve Got” and “Someone To Give My Love To” – Johnny Paycheck (both covered by Tracy Byrd)

    and of course, “Act Naturally” – Buck Owens (The Beatles)

  7. I like the versions of “Stand By Your Man” that Tammy and the Dixie Chicks did, but I must say that my all time favorite performance of the song was Sara Evans’ at the Girls Night Out special that the ACM did on tv a few months ago. I know she hasn’t released it on an album, but I REALLY wish she would.

  8. I’m with you, JoJo! Why didn’t I come up with that a long time ago? There are tons of obscure album tracks that I wish I could see reviewed seriously, not just mentioned in a list. My latest one of those is “Bulletproof” by Steel Magnolia. I can’t get enough of that song, but I’m sure it’ll never be a single. So if you ask me, the album track reviews are an awesome idea! Ben, Dan, Kevin, Leeann, Tara, are you reading this? What do you think?

  9. These are in no particular order.

    1. Rod Stewart-My heart can’t tell me no-Sara Evans
    2. Dave Barnes-God gave me you-Blake Shelton
    3. B.W Stevenson-My Maria-Brooks & Dunn
    4. Hank Williams J.R-The Blues Man-Alan Jackson
    5. The Band-The night they drove old Dixie down-ZBB
    6. Fernando Ortega-Give Me Jesus-Vince Gill
    7. Waylon Jennings-Dreaming my dreams with you- Jamey Johnson
    8. Sting-Im so happy I can’t stop crying-Toby Keith
    9. Elton John-Tiny Dancer-Tim Mcgraw
    10. Nine Inch Nails-Hurt-Johnny Cash

  10. I usually put iTunes in shuffle, but I do have a few playlists on Last.fm. Here’s a few from “O Death,” featuring anything concerning death, murder, ghosts, etc. You know, light-hearted topics.

    Robert Earl Keen – The Road Goes On Forever
    Guy Forsyth – Teeth
    The Pogues – Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go
    Chris Knight – Carla Came Home
    John Prine – Lake Marie
    Chris Knight – Down the River
    Robbie Fulks – Night Accident
    Johnny Cash – Don’t Take Your Guns To Town
    James Intveld – Kermit Vale
    The Clumsy Lovers – Amen
    The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song
    Dixie Chicks – Goodbye Earl
    The O’Kanes – Tired Of The Runnin’
    Nickel Creek – The Lighthouse’s Tale
    Joe Diffie – Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)
    The Mollys – The Powers Brothers
    Gaelic Storm – Johnny Tarr
    Chris Knight – Long Black Highway
    Guy Forsyth – Death Gonna Hunt You Down
    Reckless Kelly – American Blood
    Chris Knight – Blame Me
    Terry Allen – New Delhi Freight Train
    Mike Ness – Long Black Veil
    Johnny Cash – Sam Hall
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Devil’s Waitin’
    Chris Knight – Framed
    Cowboy Junkies – Murder, Tonight, In The Trailer Park
    Don Schlitz – The Gambler
    Gaelic Storm – She Was The Prize
    The Kentucky Headhunters – Spirit in the Sky

  11. I have a couple themed playlists, though I don’t use them that much. Here are some from a shuffle on my playlist of cowboy songs, a.k.a. The Chris LeDoux Memorial Playlist

    Roy Rogers – Melody of the Plains
    Willie Nelson – My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
    Elmer Bernstein – The Magnificent Seven (Theme)
    Rodney Hayden – Chopo
    Sons of the Pioneers – Bound for the Rio Grande
    Johnny Cash – Ghost Riders in the Sky
    Johnny Cash – The Shifting, Whispering Sands Part II
    Chris LeDoux – You Just Can’t See Him From the Road
    Chris LeDoux – Airborne Cowboy
    Chris LeDoux – Hooked on an 8 Second Ride
    Garth Brooks – In Lonesome Dove
    Dan Roberts – I Miss John Wayne
    Johnny Cash – Big Iron
    Garth Brooks – Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)
    Marty Robbins – The Master’s Call
    Chris LeDoux – Billy The Kid
    Garth Brooks – Wild Horses
    Marty Robbins – The Running Gun
    Chris LeDoux – The Ol’ Double Diamond
    Roy Rogers – I’m an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)

  12. JoJo and Dan,

    We think it’s a great idea that we’ve considered in the past. It’s something that we’re discussing again thanks to JoJo’s suggestion. While we may not adopt the reader’s choice part of it (we have to have a reaction to the song ourselves in order to be motivated enough to take the time to write about it), we’re thinking of another interesting twist to add to the idea. This isn’t to say that you can’t suggest songs for us to review, of course; it just probably won’t be an official part of the format.

  13. I also love to make playlists, often with a theme. I’ve made them on songs with the word “Gone” in the title, Rain songs, Dance songs, Sappy Songs, Fun Songs, Story songs, all Duets, etc. From something I wrote up in August ’08, here’s a country covers of pop songs playlist:

    (original artist and writer in parenthesis)

    1. Here Comes My Baby – The Mavericks (written & sung by Islam Yusuf, formerly known as Cat Stevens, also covered by the Tremeloes)

    2. If – John Berry (sung by Bread & written by David Gates)

    3. If You Leave Me Now – Suzy Bogguss (sung by Chicago & written by Peter Cetera)

    4. I Saw The Light – Hal Ketchum (written & sung by Todd Rungren)

    5. Open Arms – Collin Raye (sung by Journey & written by Jonathan Cain & Steve Perry)

    6. Back At One – Mark Wills (written & sung by Brian McKnight)

    7. Dance With My Father – Kellie Coffey (sung by Luther Vandross & written by Richard Marx & Luther Vandross)

    8. Home – Blake Shelton (sung by Michael Buble & written by Alan Chang, Amy Foster and Michael Buble)

    9. Try Me Again – Trisha Yearwood (sung by Linda Ronstadt & written by Andrew Gold & Linda Ronstadt)

    10. Saturday Night – Billy Dean (written & sung by the Eagles – Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon & Randy Meisner)

    11. A Fool Such As I – Baillie & the Boys (sung by Elvis Presley & written by Bill Trader)

    12. You Never Take Me Dancing – Travis Tritt (written & sung by Richard Marx)

    13. When You Walk In The Room – Pam Tillis (sung by Jackie DeShannon & written by Sharon Lee Myers – real name of JDeS, later sung by the Searchers)

    14. It’s Just A Matter Of Time – Randy Travis (sung by Brook Benton & written by Belford Hendricks,Clyde Otis & Brook Benton)

    15. Landslide – Dixie Chicks (sung by Fleetwood Mac & written by Stephanie Nicks)

    16. Run To Me – Raul Malo (written & sung by the Bee Gees)

    17. Time In A Bottle – John Berry (written & sung by Jim Croce)

    18. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Suzy Bogguss (sung by Elton John & written by Bernie Taupin & Elton John)

    19. Five O’Clock World – Hal Ketchum (sung by the Vogues and written by Allen Reynolds)

    20. The Search Is Over – Collin Raye (sung by Survivor and written by James Peterik & Frank Michael Sullivan III)

    21. Don’t Worry Baby – Lorrie Morgan with the Beach Boys (sung by Beach Boys and written by Brian Wilson and Roger Val Christian)

  14. Actually have the same concept of original and cover versions. These are my faves:
    If I should fall behind (bruce Springsteen/Faith Hill)
    Wichita lineman (Jimmy Webb/Glen Campell)
    I Told you so (Randy Travis/Carrie Underwood)
    Angry All the time (bruce Robinson & Kelly Willis/Tim McGraw & Faith Hill)
    Shout (Isley brothers/Tom Petty)
    Use Somebody (Kings of Leon/Pixie Lott)
    Run (Snow patrol/Leona Lewis)
    I’m about to come alive (Train/David Nail)
    Let him fly (Patty Griffin/Dixie chicks)
    She’s gone (Hall&Oates/Daryl Hall)

  15. I’ve actually got a page on my blog explaining my philosophy about how to craft a playlist, and links to several playlists that I’ve posted (no files, just the lists): http://travismcclain.blogspot.com/p/playlists.html

    My most recent playlist was based on Chris LeDoux’s recordings at Capitol Records, but before that my most recent “various artists” playlist was inspired by the Twitter hashtag, “#myraptureplaylist” back in May. The final version was exclusively country, because I couldn’t find enough non-country tracks in my library to balance the genres.

    “Goin’ Away Party” by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard & Ray Price

    “The Man Comes Around” by Johnny Cash

    “Stop the World (And Let Me Off)” by Waylon Jennings

    “The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis

    “Gone (That’ll Be Me)” by Dwight Yoakam

    “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” by Brooks & Dunn

    “How Long Gone” by Brooks & Dunn

    “Long Time Gone” by Dixie Chicks

    “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry

    “I’m a Long Gone Daddy” by Hank Williams III

    “Gone as a Girl Can Get” by George Strait

    “The King Is Gone (So Are You)” by George Jones

    “A Country Boy Can Survive” by Hank Williams, Jr.

    “Walkin’ After Midnight” by Patsy Cline

    “I’ll Fly Away” by Randy Travis

    “Farewell Party” by Alan Jackson

    “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World” by Ronnie Milsap

    “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive” by Hank Williams

    Commentary on the playlist here: http://travismcclain.blogspot.com/2011/05/myraptureplaylist.html

  16. Since Travis mentioned Chris LeDoux … At a Kent Blazy Band Bluebird show last night, guest Lane Turner sang a few songs and mentioned the following which can be found on LeDouxCountry.com:

    “Rodeo legend Chris LeDoux is the inspiration for the brand new musical, “One Ride,” which is kicking up plenty of excitement for its national tour beginning at Queens Theatre in the Park. It features 10 remarkably agile dancers, an outstanding six piece band known as the Western Underground and one sensational lead singer/guitarist, Lane Turner.”

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