Keep It Country Kids is proud to announce we have hit 100 posts! It's a big milestone for a small, independent blog of this nature, so to celebrate, we are taking on the largest undertaking on the site yet! Beginning right here with post 100, we will countdown the 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time. There isn't a specific formula to the process, but it is a combination of personal taste, success of song, and historical impact on the genre. There are songs from every decade, every style, and every era of country music. Hopefully you will learn a little bit of country music history, hear some of your old favorites, and (most importantly) hear some of these classics for the first time. Keep It Country Kids is proud to present The 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time Part 1: 100-91
This 1979 single explores the rowdy lifestyle of Bocephus in the unapologetic and brash style that he is known for. The song is a fan favorite to this day and must-know if you are playing the bar scene. The song peaked at number 4.
99. The Long Black Veil- Lefty Frizzell
"The Long Black Veil" is a country standard, covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to Sammi Smith to Bruce Springsteen, but the most famous version belongs to Lefty Frizzell. This song of cheating, murder, and crime is so well written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Willkin. It was released in 1959 and helped spark life into Lefty Frizzell's career. Lefty was one of the first superstars of country music, and is still a strong influence on many of the genre's best performers, and this song is a big reason why.
98. King of The Road- Roger Miller
"King of The Road" was released in 1965, and was a number one smash hit for Roger Miller. Miller wrote the song and watched it become a country hit, a pop hit, and an overseas hit. Many artists have covered this classic traveling song about a hobo who loves his freedom. Roger Miller was a Grammy-winning song writer known for silly songs and thought provoking songs. This was the biggest hit for one of country music's most clever artists.
97. Swingin'- John Anderson
John Anderson released this fun tune in 1983. It was a number one hit for him. John Anderson was one of the stalwarts of the 1980's who stood up to the rise of the Urban Cowboy sound. "Swingin'" may have been a bit of a novelty song, but the effects of it are lasting. John Anderson's wailing twang took this song to another level and made it a standard.
96. Live Like You Were Dying-Tim McGraw
Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman penned this inspirational hit that absolutely blew up in 2004. It was the most played song on the radio that year according to Billboard, and the video was a massive hit as well. The song also inspired a book. "Live Like You Were Dying" took on a lot of different meanings for a lot of different people, and spoke to country music's ability to treat real life situations with poise and frankness. Tim McGraw gave his best vocal performance to date in a song that will only continue to climb charts like these as it ages.
95. Don't Close Your Eyes -Keith Whitley
Keith Whitley was on the fast track to being the next big superstar of country music in the 1980's until he died of alcoholism in 1989. In 1988, he released his biggest hit, "Don't Close Your Eyes". The song is a country classic, with sad lyrics and a haunting vocal performance by Whitley. Many have tried, but no one can replicate that one-of-a-kind voice. "Don't Close Your Eyes" is a sad reminder of what could have been.
94. Jolene- Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton wrote this pleading hit in 1973 after seeing a beautiful bank teller flirt with her husband at the bank. "Jolene" would go on to be one of the biggest hits for one of country music's biggest stars. The song is a great reminder that behind all the pomp and circumstance that is Dolly Parton, there is a masterful songwriter and stellar vocalist.
93. Jackson- Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash performed this song in concert for many years before finally releasing it as a single in 1967. The playful banter between the two is a different side of Cash that wasn't as publicized as much as his larger-than-life persona, but its an integral part to the legend of Johnny Cash.
92. Rhinestone Cowboy- Glen Campbell
Larry Weiss wrote and recorded "Rhinestone Cowboy" in 1974, but it didn't make much of a dent on radio. Glen Campbell heard it and made it a number one country and pop hit in 1975. Glen Campbell is one of the biggest crossover stars in country music history, and "Rhinestone Cowboy" is one of his biggest songs.
One of the oldest songs on the countdown, Ernest Tubb's "Walking The Floor Over You" was one of the songs that helped launch country music into a formidable musical genre. Tubb was one of the first to use electric guitars, and pioneered the honky-tonk sound that country fans love. Ernest Tubb's Record Shop is still prominent on Broadway in downtown Nashville, a reflection of days past in Music City.