A Country Music Conversation: Sirius Top 1000 Country Songs of All Time, #230-#221

The closer we get, the further we fall…


George Jones & Tammy Wynette, “Golden Ring”

#1 | 1976

KJC: The only duet in country music history that I might, might rank higher than this is “After the Fire is Gone.” Woefully underrated here. Too Low

JK: Co-signing what Kevin said: I’m on record as not being much of a Wynette fan, and I’d be hard pressed not to have this in the top 20. Too Low

ZK: Arguably their best duet, and easily a top 100 record, at the absolute least. I just can no longer pretend to be outraged by this list’s shenanigans. Too Low


Billy Currington, “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right”

#1 | 2005

JK: Currington’s aw-shucks persona and technically piss-poor voice are better suited to uptempo material than ballads; I always thought this sounded sleazy AF. I’d have “Love Done Gone” ranked around here. So Wrong (This Song)

ZK: Insert far too obvious “Sirius, y’all must be doin’ somethin’ wrong” joke. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

KJC: This is well done for what it is. But we’re in the top 25% of the list now. Classics only, please. Too High


Hank Snow, “I’ve Been Everywhere”

#1 | 1962

ZK: Yes, it’s a gag, a gimmick, a joke, a stupid way to frame a song, and a bit overblown in its point made … but it’s so much fuuuuun. I do think Johnny Cash gives it more character, but on historical weight, this is a little Too Low.

KJC: An enjoyable novelty record that was done way better by Johnny Cash three decades later. Too High

JK: Honestly, my comment from when I thought we were considering “I’m Moving On” still applies: It’s a fun enough record that it almost makes me willing to overlook how much I dislike Snow’s voice. But just almost. About Right


Josh Turner, “Your Man”

#1 | 2005

KJC: A gorgeous love song that Turner deepens with his fantastic vocal performance. Just a little Too High

JK: His second-best single: “Long Black Train” should be ranked here (or higher), and this should be dropped back a bit, but it’s certainly among the best radio hits of its era. Too High

ZK: This is the last of Josh Turner’s three entries and the Sirius folks only got one of them right. It’s not this one. And they also forgot “Long Black Train,” which would be correctly placed around here. As his biggest hit, I can’t say this doesn’t belong, but it belongs several hundred spots back. Too High


Shenandoah, “Two Dozen Roses”

#1 | 1989

JK: Love these guys, but this is not one of the songs I would’ve picked to represent them– “Ghost in This House” is an egregious miss– and certainly not this high. So Wrong (This Song)

ZK: I like the melody and hook, naturally. But it’s a little too whiny and obsessive over “what might’ve beens” to land this high. I don’t mind seeing more Shenandoah in general on this list, though. Too High

KJC: I’ve always gotten a kick out of this one, though it is a shame that they only went with Shenandoah’s lighter fare for this list. That being said, I’d swap this placement with “Next to You, Next to Me,” which is the inclusion of theirs that should’ve been this high. Too High


Glen Campbell, “Galveston”

#1 | 1969

ZK: One of few Vietnam-themed songs to endure in the present day as a genuine classic, mostly because Campbell’s take is more universal in its perspective on the tolls that war that can take on everyone involved – a soldier dreaming of returning home in vain that tells a compelling story where the brevity works in its favor. Absolutely beautiful. Campbell was actually my introduction to classic country, strange as that may sound to some, and it’s a gorgeously empathetic performance and strong melody like this that helped ease me in. Too Low

KJC: Only two Glen Campbell songs on this list??? Where the hell are “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Rhinestone Cowboy,” Sirius? And they still managed to rank this one Too Low.

JK: I’m not a fan of Campbell’s, generally, but he’s definitely an artist this list did wrong. An inexplicable ranking for this song. Too Low


Jana Kramer, “Why Ya Wanna”

#3 | 2011

KJC: Only 15% of the top 250 records on this list feature a female lead vocal. So it’s painful for me to point out that of those records, some of them don’t belong. At least not this high. Goodness gracious. Too High

JK: Speaking of inexplicable rankings… Kramer is just such a marginal talent: Her lack of breath control on this song makes her sound asthmatic, and it isn’t even a particularly demanding song. This list just completely failed the genre’s women. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

ZK: I mean, I don’t wanna. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong).


Alabama, “The Closer You Get”

#1 | 1983

JK: One of the better lyrics in their catalogue of cheese and corn, but the production is as badly dated as the band’s feathered hairdos on the album sleeve. Too High

ZK: That jarring synth and ugly vocal processing just sounds so ‘80s, and I don’t mean that in a good way here. I’ve noted that this band is just really inconsistent for me, personally, but this isn’t an essential cut to have this high no matter which way you cut it. So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

KJC: They had a lot of great pop-flavored records in the eighties, and this is among the better ones. But it’s not a top 250 record. Too High


Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard, “Pancho & Lefty”

#1 | 1983

ZK: Of the several versions of this song out there, this is actually among my lesser favorites. The production dates it, Merle Haggard barely gets any time here and sounds checked out (and if you know the backstory, he basically was), and I find it hard to complain because it’s still one of the best story songs in country music. This is a frustrating ranking, though. If it were Townes Van Zandt himself or Emmylou Harris, it’s easily too low. But since we’re talking about this … well, it’s the most well-known version, so, About Right?

KJC: I’ll echo Zack here. This was really a “Willie Nelson featuring Merle Haggard” joint, not a full-fledged duet. Still a classic, though. About Right

JK: Emmylou’s version is my favorite because of course it is, but I’m also not mad at this ranking, considering the rest of this batch of ten. About Right


Lee Brice, “Love Like Crazy”

#3 | 2009

KJC: There wasn’t room for “Where’ve You Been” or “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane,” but there was room for this? Too High

JK: If I’ve learned anything from this list, it’s that Lee Brice has more than the two actual hits I thought he’d had, because his name just keeps popping up with competent but why is this ranked here song after song… So Wrong (Doesn’t Belong)

ZK: I really don’t mind Lee Brice when he’s not acting like a meat-headed bro, but I’m not putting this ahead of one of my lesser favorite versions of “Pancho & Lefty.” Too High

Previous: #240-#231 | Next: #220-#211


  1. I mean, I’m still reeling from the “Coat of Many Colors” ranking, but otherwise I’m just having fun with this weird little list.

  2. Re. “Galveston”: It says a lot that this Jimmy Webb-penned classic (which also hit #4 on the Hot 100 in April 1969) made GC arguably the biggest-selling singles artist of that year, on top of “Wichita Lineman”. The man had universal appeal, especially with the resume he had as being part of the famous Wrecking Crew and, for a few months in late 1964 and early 1965, subbing for Brian Wilson in the Beach Boys.

    Re. “Why Ya Wanna”: Was Jana even trying? Seriously, the only thing worse than a bad record is a mediocre one, which this one is; and given that this is a female artist we’re talking about here, that’s not a compliment.

  3. Am I the only one who ever liked Jana Kramer? Like I always found her very underrated and very talented and was kind of sad she never stuck in the 2010s. Sorry I just feel like it is a death zone to be positive about Jana Kramer here.

  4. “I’m Movin’ On’ is from 1950, not 1962. up until Billboard started monkeying with their chart methodology, this song was the #1 Country chart song of all time spending 21 weeks at #1 and 44 weeks in the top ten. This is an all-time top 50 song

    Among this group “Golden Ring”, “Galveston” and “Pancho & Lefty” are also classics and the rest are also-rans.

    Jana Kramer ???

  5. @Paul W. Dennis:

    Actually, it’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” that’s being discussed. It’s even in the YouTube playlist. I’m sure writing it as “I’m Movin’ On” was a mistake on either the original forum poster’s part (I haven’t been there since this conversation even started) or Kevin’s.

  6. Yikes, quite a step backwards this time out! Only about half of these would I consider to be country classics.

    The Shenandoah song is actually my most favorite from this group. No matter how many times I’ve heard it, it’s still just as catchy as the first time, and I have yet to get tired of it. That said, I also have to agree that either “Ghost In This House” or “Next To You, Next To Me,” should be placed this high.

    Also add “Pancho And Lefty” as another that I can never get tired of. Emmylou Harris’ earlier version is great too, but I also really like the unique 80’s style production of Willie and Merle’s famous recording. I especially always thought the sound of the background vocalists singing one of the last “all the federales say..” near the end was pretty neat.

    Hank Snow is once again too low. I feel that he is one of the more underappreciated legends from the 50’s and 60’s country eras.

    Love “Galveston,” (and yes, it’s too low) but are you friggin’ serious about “Rhinestone Cowboy” not being here at all?!! And only TWO Campbell songs. As if this list needed any more reasons to not be taken seriously…

    Always enjoyed “The Closer You Get,” dated 80’s sound and all, but it’s not really top 300 material, imo.

    The Josh Turner and Billy Currington songs were okay and I even kinda liked ’em when they first came out, but in the risk of sounding like a broken record, I quickly grew tired of them thanks to radio (and everyone and their brother singing them on TV talent shows). Now I consider the Currington song to be his most overrated song overall, just like Currington himself is highly overrated. That said, I do agree that “Love Done Gone” is still a jam.

    You can surely do worse than Jana Kramer when it comes to 2010’s country. But seriously, there are dozens of great females from the 90’s and 80’s (not to mention, more successful commercially than Kramer ever was) who are just barely represented if not represented at all, and yet for some bizarre reason, they chose to put nearly all of Kramer’s singles on the list?! It just makes absolutely no sense. “Why Ya Wanna” was actually one of the brighter spots for me when it came to mainstream country in 2012, but an all time classic belonging in the top 300? Nope.

    And why oh why are we still seeing Lee Brice here?

  7. I messed up in formatting the doc. #228 is “I’ve Been Everywhere,” not “I’m Movin’ On.” I managed to get the year and album artwork right at least. Blame it on the post-vaccination fever!

    Look for updated comments from Jonathan and Zack soon.

  8. I would regard “I’ve Been Everywhere” as being placed about right. It’s a great song and although it is a difficult song to sing at least the American place names are reasonable. The Australian original as written by Geoff Mack contains some real tongue twisters as do some of the other nationality versions

    As much as I love Johnny Cash, I always regarded his version of the song as somewhat plodding. On the other hand the Rolf Harris version (English and Scottish town names) was a real hoot


  9. Re. “I’ve Been Everywhere”: This is another one of those contenders, in my mind, for one of the Top 100 C&W songs of all time, and one with universal appeal beyond the gerne, be it Hank Snow’s 1962 original or Mr. Cash’s. It’s not easy to name drop all those places in one song, which is why no one’s been able (or willing) to do it since. Of course the names of country artists are dropped all the time in songs these days, gratuitously in my opinion (grumble, grumble).

  10. …love the little consensus finding exercise of you guys when it comes to the appropriate ranking of hank snow’s “i’ve been everywhere”.

  11. Of course it’s the Hank Snow version of “I’ve Been Everywhere” that belongs highly placed on this list, but I’ve always been partial to Lynn Anderson’s spirited version. And speaking of Lynn Anderson, have we not seen any songs of hers make the list as of yet? I’m quite sure Anderson’s “Rose Garden” is bound to appear somewhere in the top 100, but is that all we are going to see from her? She was so popular back in the 70s.

  12. Can’t explain exactly why, but I’ve never been particularly keen on “I’ve Been Everywhere.” About the only version I really like is Brian Burns’ Texas-centric one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOTH533NIyg I do recognize its classic status and its place on its list, though.

    Glen Campbell needs more songs here and Lee Brice needs fewer. We’ll just leave it at that.

  13. I like the Josh Turner, Shenandoah and Alabama songs but my favorite of this group is Glen Campbell’s Galveston. Great vocal and lyrics. I see on wiki that “In 2003, this song ranked number 8 in CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music.”

  14. “Golden Ring” is too low. Should be in the top 100.
    “I’ve Been Everywhere” is just fun to listen to and probably would be to sing too. A little too low.
    “Your Man” is a modern classic. should be more like top 40.
    Galveston” is too low.

  15. My 3 favorite Josh Turner singles are “Long Black Train”, “Your Man” and “Me and God”, but the best song that he has ever recorded is “Loretta Lynn’s Lincoln”!

    I like this Shenandoah song a lot, but I agree with Kevin that “Next to You Next to Me” is their best up-tempo song.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.