Great Country Songs From the 1970s, Pt. 3
Same admonition as before. Just some songs I liked, one song per artist.
“Silver Wings” – Jim & Jon Hager (1970)
Since Hag issued the song as a B side (“Workin’ Man Blues” was the A side) this version is the only charting version of Hag’s classic. The Hager Twins do a nice job with the song, although it only reached #59 on the charts .
“I Can’t Be Myself” – Merle Haggard (1970)
My all-time favorite Merle Haggard recording, thus song went to #1 on Cashbox. Frankly, picking an all-time favorite Hag song is a hopeless proposition as he is the most consistently great artist of all time. Hag wrote about fifty #1 songs, the most of any songwriter
“I Can’t Dance” – Tom T. Hall (1970)
“I Can’t Dance, I Never Could, I Guess My Feet Don’t Match“
Tom T tells my story with the lyrics to this song. This song was never a single but was an album track on One Hundred Children, which despite the saccharin of the title track remains my favorite Tom T Hall album
“Country Music In My Soul” – George Hamilton IV (1972)
I’ve always had this condition. My favorite GH4 song, it only got as high as #63, although it did well in some regional markets
“Lovin’ Man” – Arlene Hardin (1970)
This is the female take on Orbison’s “Pretty Woman”. I don’t know why Ms Harden didn’t make it big. This was her biggest hit, reaching #13, although she’s better remembered for “He’s A Good Ole Boy” which Chely Wright put on her debut album, or as part of the Hardin Trio, who had a Cashbox #1 in 1966 with. “Tippy Toeing”.
“Blue Jean Country Queen” – Linda Hargrove (1974)
This song barely cracked the top 100. Linda was an underrated performer who is better remembered as a songwriter. Johnny Rodriguez took her “Just Get Up and Close the Door” to the top of the charts.
“Too Far Gone” – Emmylou Harris (1979)
Not one of her bigger hits but a fine effort.
“My Hang-Up Is You” – Freddie Hart (1972)
The follow up to “Easy Loving” and actually a bigger chart hit, spending six weeks at #1. I think of this song sometimes after an argument with my wife, an argument which always finds me giving in !
“Dixie Belle” – Stan Hitchcock (1970)
Stan is more important on the business side of the equation than as a performer. He was director of CMT, has been a DJ, record producer and television personality. This charming song deserved better than its #54 chart position.
“Richard and The Cadillac Kings” – Doyle Holly (1974)
Richard and his band play country music out of tune every weekend at a local watering hole. They’re not good but they are enthusiastic, like many bar bands I’ve heard over the years. Doyle was a member of Buck Owens’ Buckaroos during their prime years of 1963-1970. A genuinely funny performer, Doyle passed away in 2007.
“I Do My Swinging At Home” – David Houston (1970)
One of many fine songs Houston recorded during the early 1970s
“Rock Me Back To Little Rock” – Jan Howard (1970)
Jan only had five top twenty hits as a solo artist – this wasn’t one of them. She is best remembered for her duets with Wynn Stewart and Bill Anderson
“I’ve Been Waiting For You All of My Life” – Con Hunley (1979)
I Think of Con Hunley as more of a “blue-eyed soul singer” than as a country singer but his smoky voice sure sounded good. This song made it to #14. Con never had a top ten hit although there were markets in which he did very well. He recently came out of retirement and has website where his 70s & 80s music can be purchased, as well as some newer music http://www.conhunley.com/
“Within My Lovin’ Arms” – Kenni Huskey (1972)
Kenni was part of the Buck Owens show, and Buck wrote this song for her to sing. Even though it topped out at #74, you can get a copy of this recording at CD Baby along with the demo track Buck laid out for her
“Heavenly Sunshine” – Ferlin Husky (1970)
Reached #10 on Cashbox, Ferlin’s last top ten hit and a great song
“You’re The One” – Jerry Inman (1975)
This is the same song that the Oak Ridge Boys took to #1 (Cashbox) several years later. This is the better version, with prominent steel guitar and a bit more up tempo. Inman won the most promising new artist award at the ACM in 1975 and then largely disappeared
“Me and You And A Dog Named Boo” – Stonewall Jackson (1971)
The last top ten hit for Stonewall Jackson, this following four years after the previous top ten. This cover of a Lobo hit reached #1 in some markets but Stonewall was always too country for country radio
“In The Jailhouse Now” – Sonny James (1977)
After his string of twenty-six #1 records came to a halt, Sonny started recording projects that interested him, rather than aiming for chart success. This cover of a Jimmie Rodgers classic, recorded with the Tennessee State Prison Band at a live concert is a lot of fun. Trumpets effectively take the place of the Jimmie Rodgers blue yodel
“Brown Eyed Handsome Man” – Waylon Jennings (1970)
A good cover of a Chuck Berry classic – this reached #1 on Record World making it Waylon’s first #1 record.
“The Golden Rocket” – Jim & Jesse (1970)
A bluegrass take on a Hank Snow classic, this song reached the top forty, which was a rarity for a bluegrass act
“Send Me Some Lovin’ ” – Lois Johnson & Hank Williams, Jr. (1972)
A nice duet on a Fats Domino hit from 1959
“Take A Letter Maria” – Anthony Armstrong Jones (1970)
A Conway Twitty protégé, AAJ did not enjoy nearly the success of his mentor. This cover of an RB Greaves pop hit went to #8 and was his biggest hit. Born Ronnie Jones in 1949, AAJ passed away a number of years
“A Good Year For The Roses” – George Jones (1970)
#1 Cashbox – I could have picked any of twenty songs George recorded in the 1970s. This was one of his last Musicor hits
“Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow” – Tom Jones (1977)
Okay – so he’s not a country singer. Tom Jones was a heck of a singer and could tackle country songs effectively. This got to #1, and deservedly so.
Read other playlists in the Great Country Songs from the 1970s series:
- Great Country Songs from the 1970s, Pt. 1
- Great Country Songs from the 1970s, Pt. 2
- Great Country Songs from the 1970s, Pt. 3
- Great Country Songs from the 1970s, Pt. 4
- Great Country Songs from the 1970s, Pt. 5
- Great Country Songs from the 1970s, Pt. 6
- Great Country Songs from the 1970s, Pt. 7
- Great Country Songs from the 1970s, Pt. 8
- Great Country Songs from the 1970s, Pt. 9
- mrsandy: Also worth noting: Priscilla Mitchell was Jerry Reed's widow.
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- bll: I suss her re-recording her hits for 'Gwendolen records' means she can stop MCA from releasing her hits against her.
- Greg Judy: Cooler festivals and marching bands at the football games!
- kevin ilinger: Fall colors bluegrass and apple cider
- luckyoldsun: If I was a "long-time fan" of Trisha, I'd probably spring for the CD.