Collating a top ten or top five in any category is difficult, but when it comes to country music it is nearly impossible. After a couple of obvious selections, things get a tad more difficult and the waters become a little murkier. Country music has always had very passionate fans, they are also the first to give their opinions, so please bear this in mind when reading our blog of the best country music artists, perhaps it should be entitled Some of the Best Country Music Artists That Have Ever Been!
As our prologue explained there are some country artists that cannot be disputed to go on any top of lists and Hank Williams is one of them. Williams was born in 1923 and, classically for a future country star, his birth place was a small log cabin in Garland, Alabama. Hank Williams was recognized for pioneering honky-tonk music which was so prevalent in 1940s America. Williams made his debut at The Grand Ole Opry House in 1949, when he was reputed to have driven the crowd wild with his version of Love Sick Blues. The audience demanded an unbelievable six encores which was a performance of a lifetime. Hank Williams was a brilliant musician and singer, perhaps his biggest legacy will be his amazing songwriting which will last for posterity.
Born in Beaumont, Texas, George Jones began his country music career singing on street corners for tips. His idol was Hank Williams and he, too, had a life that mirrored his songs. It was George Jones voice that will be ever remembered, he had the amazing skill to sing high which defined his style. Perhaps the greatest testament ever said about George Jones was by his musical peer, Waylon Jennings. Jennings said of Jones, When George Jones sings a song, that song’s been sung.
Another famous name that cannot be disputed to be on this list is Jimmy Rodgers. That is because he was the first ever singer to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He has millions of fans and is largely acknowledged as the father of all country music. Rodgers style was quite unique as he blended many musical forms such as blues, folk, jazz and even railway songs. Although his recording career was relatively short, Rodgers produced a prolific amount of songs and his yodeling style will be forever remembered.
The first female on our list, Kitty Wells tore down the walls of a male dominated music scene for many females to follow in her footsteps. It was one particular song that took Kitty to the very top of the country tree in 1952, It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels. The huge hit was a response to an earlier recording by Hank Thompson, Wild Side of Life. It was an extremely powerful response that bought passionate acclaim, particularly from women. She shook the very foundations of the industry and paved the way for a host of successful female country stars to follow in her pioneering footsteps.
In part two of our blog we suggest more names that should appear on any top ten list of the greatest country music artists ever.