Country Music is more than a family tradition.

Cowboy plays guitar

Country Tradition

These are some country music greats, so just "Act Naturally" and go with it.

I started out by thinking, could this blog topic be more opinion, that fact? I guess to a degree it all depends upon who you ask. However, I am going to make an attempt to cover some bands that I feel that have made an impact on the lives of so many people. Throughout the years, I have had this very conversation with my friends, family and influential people in the community. There has been a consistent answer to this topic. So I feel it will be pretty close to be set in stone. Though if you have a different point of view, that is ok. After all, it is what makes living life a beautiful experience. We all need to have our different opinions, especially when it comes to music.

Which genre are we covering in this topic?

I know what you are saying. Well, this is a country music page (predominantly), so we should cover the country music genre. As much as country music has made an impact on my life, I am going to make this topic about country music singers or bands. The reason why I selected country music as my line of artists to promote, is because country music in general shaped my life to what it is today. From a music perspective, the way I live my life has somewhat been based upon the way country folk live their lives. Religion, work, family, friends, relationships, having a good time, loyalty. These are just some of the important things that a country person looks for in their daily life. Whether its in their daily routine, or what they look for in their best friend. Which their best friend, usually is their loyal and trusty k-9. Oh, and I almost forgot fishing and hunting are a huge part of your typical country folk. Therefore, considering all these factors, it makes sense that we consider what country singer or band has made the most impact on the lives of individuals?

Talking about more than a family tradition

By now, you know who is racing through your mind. Just with the uttering of two words, only one man comes to mind. You know it’s none other than Bocephus. Hank Williams Jr. Even to this day, when he is on stage, you know you have seen greatness. The lyrics of his songs, touch the very fiber of every living country person. Because his words are real, and tell the story of how life is like for a country boy. I remember the first time I heard it on the big box turn table that we had. I believe my mother played his records so many times, that scratches appeared from nowhere. You know, as soon as she was done playing them, they went straight back into their cover and album. “Don’t you touch these records boy”! Trust me, she was serious about her Hank Williams Jr. records. Anytime you felt stressed, you can play his records and life started to feel ok. Because Hank said everything in his songs that you needed to express for that day. He truly was remarkable with his lyrics. He knew the mind of every country folk alive. Even those that weren’t country music fans. His music withstood the test of time.

Georgia? Yep, he went down there too!

It’s very interesting how many places the devil will show up. Who knew that he would make such a concerted effort to make it to Georgia. Especially to throw down with “Johnny”. When Johnny showed that he could stand up to anyone, just with the sound of his bow and violin, you knew that nothing couldn’t be overcome. The Charlie Daniels Band was one of the band’s that used the violin in most of their songs. Previous to that, I though the only great stringed instrument was the guitar. I was proven wrong. The violin is a great instrument, especially with the sound of country music.

Because wearing black meant that you stood for what was right.

Everyone knows that the man in black was no other than Johnny Cash. It’s when black stood for good, he was a rebel, but not against what was right, but everything that was wrong with society. He made it known, through his lyrics. He gave of himself, through his words. It changed the way I viewed country music. It didn’t have to be all about the twang. Country music could have a slightly different sound. Including a little bit of rock and roll to it. You knew he wasn’t Elvis Presley or Jerry Lee Lewis. He was something different. In some ways he was even greater than those two mentioned. The man in black sang to the deep parts of the soul. His first hit, “Folsom City Blues”. Some say, that Jonny Cash had stole the song from elsewhere. I believe it was a singer Gordon Jenkins. Later, Johnny Cash was said to have paid out 75,000 because he used the lyrics of another song. Regardless, Folsom City Blues was the first song that I heard from the man in black, and it helped kick start my love for country music. There was more to Johnny Cash that made him one of my all time country music favorites. It was his persona! His style and flash. His songs did the rest, along with his side kick June Carter. They were an amazing singing duo. One that made impression on me for a lifetime.

What’s your problem boy, wise up and “act naturally”.

Those are not the actual words from the song. Except the title of the song is in the sub heading. The song Act Naturally was sung by none other than Buck Owens. The first time I saw Buck Owens was on the TV show “Hee Haw”. Wow, those were the days. Yes, I wanted to watch something else on TV, but my parents had control of the remote. Which at the time was me. I had to get up and turn the knob on the television. It was the 70’s and the show had gone on for a long time. It started in 1969. But Owens left the cast of Hee Haw in 1986, due to the accidental death of his friend Don Rich. Though he was very famous for his appearance on Hee Haw, it was his amazing singing ability that gave him 21 number 1 hits on Billboard Country music charts. His unique sound was appreciated by many country singers. One in particular was Dwight Yoakam, who later appeared with Owens in 1988 for the song “Streets of Bakersfield”.  Many well known singers emulated his Bakersfield sound. Many musicians sang tributes to Owens throughout the years. Including the Beatles ( Act Naturally ). Buck Owens was an inspiration to me, and had a huge impact on the way I view country music talent.

The girl’s sure do get prettier before closing time.

We all know the song, and who sang it. That very singer of that song, had his own country music night club named after him.  He transfused a level of country music energy into a time period that was thought to be unpopular. Many thought that country music was dead. Well, that wasn’t necessarily the case. Because there were many cowboys still listening to it. In addition, the addition of Gilli’s and the popular movie that was filmed there, gave country music the spark that it needed. Even those that were heavelly into disco music converted over to country because of the movie Urban Cowboy. To this very day, people quote from that movie, and even say it was their all time favorite. Other than the movie, Mickey Gilley had many hit songs that left the world feeling happy, blue or it was time for party. Do you remember “Stand by me”? How about “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”? Then there is the old Eddie Arnold song, that he sang called “You don’t know me”. Have you ever wondered where country music would be today, if it hadn’t been for the country singers I just mentioned?

True, there are many other honorable mentions.

By no means, am I saying this is the end of the list. There are so many more country music artists that made an impact on the lives of each one of us. We all have our moments, when that country song came on the radio and changed our world forever.

Here is a list of country music artists that I have been impressed by throughout the years. Maybe you were too. If I missed some, please leave a comment below. We want to hear the country music artist or band that has been instrumental in your country music history.

Many pages could fill my heartfelt thanks to the following country music artists: Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrell, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton John (when she was country), Sammi Smith, Tanya Tucker, Dottie West, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, Kenny Rodgers, John Denver, Glen Cambell, Charlie Rich, Ray Stevens, Freddy Fender, Linda Ronstadt, Dan Fogelberg, Gordon Lightfoot ( almost didn’t make the list, due to his involvement with folk music). Then there is Charlie Pride.

I am sure I missed some really great singers from our past. However, that is for you to pick up on. Leave a comment, and let us know which country singer made an impact on your life. Keep the list to your traditional country singers. We know there are some great new country singers, but we want to keep it old school.

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