A Country Music Conversation, Day 14: “The Long Goodbye” to “Love Hurts”

A Country Music Conversation: Introduction and Index

Previous Entry: Day 13: “Just Some Girl” to “Linda On My Mind”

Day 14 features tracks from Brooks & Dunn, Dixie Chicks, Cal Smith, Lori McKenna, and Gram Parsons.

“The Long Goodbye”
Brooks & Dunn

Written by Paul Brady and Ronan Keating

Covering a British pop song is an interesting way to make a modern country hit. Brooks & Dunn do such a great job on this one that it’s hard to believe it isn’t an original penned by the duo.

Other Favorites: “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” “Brand New Man,” “That Ain’t No Way to Go”

“Long Time Gone”
Dixie Chicks

Written by Darrell Scott

We’ve written a lot about this song over the years. Heck, it topped our decade-end list of singles back in 2009. Listening to it today, you can still enjoy it for the sheer musicianship and flawless vocals. But it also serves as a reminder that the Dixie Chicks recorded a memorial for country music just a few months before a big part of it died with their departure from the radio.

Other Favorites: “Top of the World,” “Truth No. 2,” “Not Ready to Make Nice”

“The Lord Knows I’m Drinking”
Cal Smith

Written by Bill Anderson

Cal Smith is another one of those artists that my parents listened to in the car, with vinyl records copied on to cassette tapes to pass the time on long car rides. My mom’s favorite was “Country Bumpkin.” My dad’s was “Macarthur’s Hand.”  This is the one that I loved, and still do.

Other Favorites: “Jason’s Farm,” “I Just Came Home to Count the Memories,” “Macarthur’s Hand”

Lori McKenna

Written by Lori McKenna

All those folks discovering Lori McKenna now, post-“Girl Crush” and “Humble and Kind?” Go download her Lorraine album now, and wrap yourself in the warmth of the title track. A powerful tribute to the late mother whose name she bears, it is equal parts grief and gratitude, hurt and humility.

Other Favorites: “The Luxury of Knowing,” “Still Down Here,” “Shake”

“Love Hurts”
Gram Parsons

Written by Boudleaux Bryant

Gram Parsons could’ve been one of the country greats, had he not died tragically young. Emmylou Harris might’ve remained the planet’s best backup singer, had Gram Parsons not died tragically young. I’m eternally grateful for Harris’s body of work, but I sure wish we could’ve heard these two sing together for many years more.

Other Favorites: “In My Hour of Darkness,” “Return of the Grievous Angel,” How Much I’ve Lied”

Up Next: Day 15: “Love, Me” to “Mean”


  1. It looks like my most played B&D track is “Building Bridges” and I was surprised to see my most played DCX song is “Without You” and not something off Taking the Long Way

  2. I could list about 20 Brooks & Dunn songs but I’ll settle for Brand New Man, Neon Moon, She Used to be Mine, That Ain’t No Way To Go, She’s Not The Cheatin’ Kind, Believe, and My Maria.

    Dixie Chicks – There’s Your Trouble, Wide Open Spaces, Ready to Run, Cowboy Take Me Away, and Without You.

  3. B&D – favorites
    How Long Gone (years ago I made up a cd of songs w Gone in the title), Red Dirt Road, Husbands & Wives, She Used to Be Mine, Only in America

    Chicks – Tonight the Heartache’s On Me, Some Days You Gotta Dance, Long Time Gone (also part of my Gone cd), Godspeed, I Hope

  4. While Top of the World remains my favourite Dixie Chicks song, it’s one of those epic tunes that invites an occasional close listen. Therefore, DCX songs among my most-played include Goodbye Earl, Wide Open Spaces, and oddly enough, Bitter End.

  5. Re. “Long Time Gone”–it still seems to apply to country music as it stands now, even more than it did when it was a hit in the first place in 2002, with some obvious exceptions.

    My other DCX favorites: “Sin Wagon”; “Not Ready To Make Nice”; “Lubbock Or Leave It”; “Voice Inside My Head”.

    As for Gram Parsons–it should be said that “In My Hour Of Darkness” also marked the first time that Emmylou worked with Linda Ronstadt, who was asked by GP to come down and add her patented harmony to the song. Emmy and Linda have been close friends (and extremely frequent partners in crime) ever since.

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