Dave's Music Database books

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Top 100 Country Songs of All Time

First posted on Facebook on April 3, 2011 and then on the blog on August 28, 2011.

The DMDB’s list of the top 100 country songs of all time was created by aggregating multiple best-of lists focused on country songs. See the resources at the bottom of this page.

  1. CrazyPatsy Cline (1961)
  2. Stand by Your Man…Tammy Wynette (1968)
  3. El Paso…Marty Robbins (1959)
  4. Your Cheatin’ Heart…Hank Williams (1953)
  5. He’ll Have to Go…Jim Reeves (1959)
  6. Friends in Low PlacesGarth Brooks (1990)
  7. King of the Road…Roger Miller (1965)
  8. He Stopped Loving Her Today…George Jones (1980)
  9. Ring of Fire…Johnny Cash (1963)
  10. I Fall to Pieces…Patsy Cline (1961)

  11. Sixteen Tons…Tennessee Ernie Ford (1955)
  12. It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels…Kitty Wells (1952)
  13. I Walk the LineJohnny Cash (1956)
  14. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry…Hank Williams (1949)
  15. Hello Darlin’…Conway Twitty (1970)
  16. Forever and Ever, Amen…Randy Travis (1987)
  17. The Devil Went Down to Georgia…Charlie Daniels Band (1979)
  18. Walking the Floor Over You…Ernest Tubb (1941)
  19. Hello Walls…Faron Young (1961)
  20. Always on My Mind…Willie Nelson (1982)

  21. Lovesick Blues…Hank Williams (1949)
  22. Mama Tried…Merle Haggard (1968)
  23. Help Me Make It Through the Night…Sammi Smith (1971)
  24. Crazy Arms…Ray Price (1956)
  25. Folsom Prison Blues…Johnny Cash (1956)
  26. I’m Moving On…Hank Snow (1950)
  27. I Hope You Dance…Lee Ann Womack (2000)
  28. The Dance…Garth Brooks (1990)
  29. I Will Always Love You…Dolly Parton (1974)
  30. Make the World Go Away…Eddy Arnold (1965)

  31. Okie from Muskogee…Merle Haggard (1969)
  32. For the Good Times…Ray Price (1970)
  33. Oh Lonesome Me…Don Gibson (1958)
  34. Sweet Dreams of You…Patsy Cline (1963)
  35. Breathe…Faith Hill (1999)
  36. The Wild Side of Life…Hank Thompson (1952)
  37. Hey, Good Lookin’…Hank Williams (1951)
  38. Wabash Cannonball…Roy Acuff & the Smoky Mountain Boys (1938)
  39. Faded Love…Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (1950)
  40. Act Naturally…Buck Owens (1963)

  41. I Can’t Stop Loving You…Ray Charles (1962)
  42. Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye)…The Carter Family (1935)
  43. Coal Miner’s Daughter…Loretta Lynn (1970)
  44. Behind Closed Doors…Charlie Rich (1973)
  45. The Battle of New Orleans…Johnny Horton (1959)
  46. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain…Willie Nelson (1975)
  47. Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys…Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson (1978)
  48. Amazed…Lonestar (1999)
  49. Wildwood Flower…The Carter Family (1928)
  50. Harper Valley P.T.A….Jeannie C. Riley (1968)

  51. Tumbling Tumbleweeds…Sons of the Pioneers (1934)
  52. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden…Lynn Anderson (1970)
  53. God Bless the U.S.A….Lee Greenwood (1984)
  54. Blue Moon of Kentucky…Bill Monroe (1947)
  55. Coat of Many Colors…Dolly Parton (1971)
  56. Blue Yodel #1 (T for Texas)…Jimmie Rodgers (1928)
  57. Jambalaya on the Bayou…Hank Williams (1952)
  58. Tennessee Waltz…Patti Page (1950)
  59. You Are My Sunshine…Jimmie Davis (1940)
  60. Amarillo by Morning…George Strait (1983)

  61. There Stands the Glass…Webb Pierce (1953)
  62. Rhinestone Cowboy…Glen Campbell (1975)
  63. She Thinks I Still Care…George Jones (1962)
  64. Before the Next Teardrop Falls…Freddy Fender (1975)
  65. Don’t Rock the Jukebox…Alan Jackson (1991)
  66. Smokey Mountain Rain…Ronnie Milsap (1980)
  67. I Don’t Hurt Anymore…Hank Snow (1954)
  68. Bouquet of Roses…Eddy Arnold (1948)
  69. Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning…Alan Jackson (2001)
  70. Foggy Mountain Breakdown…Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs (1950)

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  71. Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)…Waylon Jennings (1977)
  72. San Antonio Rose…Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (1939)
  73. You’re Still the One…Shania Twain (1998)
  74. Please Help Me, I’m Falling…Hank Locklin (1960)
  75. The Gambler…Kenny Rogers (1978)
  76. Cold, Cold Heart…Hank Williams (1931)
  77. On the Other Hand…Randy Travis (1985)
  78. Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’…Charley Pride (1971)
  79. A Satisfied Mind…Porter Wagoner (1955)
  80. Green, Green Grass of Home…Porter Wagoner (1965)

  81. Flowers on the Wall…The Statler Brothers (1965)
  82. Walk on By…Leroy Van Dyke (1961)
  83. I’ll Hold You in My Heart Till I Can Hold You in My Arms…Eddy Arnold (1947)
  84. Galveston…Glen Campbell (1969)
  85. Singing the Blues…Marty Robbins (1956)
  86. I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail…Buck Owens (1965)
  87. D-I-V-O-R-C-E…Tammy Wynette (1968)
  88. Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy…Red Foley (1950)
  89. Born to Lose…Ted Daffan & His Texans (1943)
  90. Young Love…Sonny James (1956)

  91. Slippin’ Around…Margaret Whiting with Jimmy Wakely (1949)
  92. Almost Persuaded…David Houston (1966)
  93. Blue…LeAnn iRimes (1996)
  94. Anytime…Eddy Arnold (1948)
  95. Sunday Morning Coming Down…Johnny Cash (1970)
  96. Long Black Veil…Lefty Frizzell (1959)
  97. Once a Day…Connie Smith (1964)
  98. There Goes My Everything…Jack Greene (1966)
  99. Together Again…Buck Owens (1964)
  100. Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! That Cigarette…Tex Williams (1947)


Resources and Related Links:
  • original Facebook post (4/3/11)

  • About.com Top 500 Country Music Songs. By Shelly Fabian. (2008).

    List background: site says list was “painstakingly compiled from many sources on the ‘net (including Billboard charts, album charts, and various surveys and polls), with a good deal of common sense thrown in.

  • Associated Content. Top 10 Country Songs of All Time. By Cheap Cannuck. (12/17/08).

  • Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top 10 Country Songs (9/17/08).

    This is a list of the top-charting country songs on the Billboard Hot 100, not the biggest charting songs on the country charts. Consequently, while these are country songs, they are more pop-oriented.

  • Billboard’s “All-Time Top 100 #1 Hits, 1944-1997” (1997).

    This is a list from pages 508-9 of Joel Whitburn’s Top Country Singles: 1944-1997 (4th edition). These are the biggest songs to hit the country charts based on total weeks at #1. Tiebreakers are then decided by weeks in the top 10, weeks in the top 40, and then total weeks on the chart.

  • David Cantwell and Bill Friskics-Warren Heartaches by the Number: Country Music’s 500 Greatest Singles. Vanderbilt University Press and Country Music Foundation Press; 2003.

    Ranked list with detailed commentary on the songs.

  • Ace Collins. The Stories Behind Country Music’s All-Time Greatest 100 Songs. New York, NY; The Berkley Publishing Group. (1996)

    This book actually covers a few more than a 100 songs with the focus on the writers and the path the song took towards fame.

  • Country America Top 100 Country Songs of All Time (1992).

    This was a poll offers a ranked list, but no commentary on songs.

  • Country Music Hall of Fame Jukebox.

    This particular page of the Country Music Hall of Fame site is a jukebox of the most significant songs in country music's history. Broken link.

  • Country Music Television. 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music (2001?).

    This four-part series aired on CMT and offered a unique focus on some of the best country songs of all time, covering from 1935-2001.

  • Country Music Television. 40 Greatest Songs of the Decade (2010).

    Two-hour TV special introduced Nov. 13, 2010 on CMT to celebrate the top 40 videos in country music from 2000-2010.

  • Digital Dream Door 100 Greatest Country Music Songs Edited by Chris F. (11/19/08).

    Title says 100 songs, but there are actually 190 songs ranked on this list. The top 50 have links to be able to listen to the songs. No commentary.

  • FAQs.org Top Country Songs of All Times (2009).

    Ranked list of 94 titles with commentary from guests. List appears to be generated by guest votes, but there’s no clear explanation.

  • imeem.com Top 100 All Time Best Country Songs (year?).

    Link now forwards to myspace.com. Can’t find original source.

  • K92’s All Time Favorites 600, 1975-2005 (2005).

    List only. Only top 10 listed. Now dead link.

  • Hal Leonard Corporation Best Country Songs Ever (1984).

    This is a songbook and not a ranked list. Link goes to Amazon.com and you can look inside the book to see the list of songs included.

  • D.J. McAdam 100 Greatest Country Songs (year?)

    An individual ranked list. No commentary on individual songs, but some comments on the whole list are offered at the end.

  • PopMatters.com/McClatchy-Tribune Country’s Top 100 By Shirley Jinkins and Malcolm Mayhew. (9/07).

    Ranked list with limited commentary.

  • RollingStone.com 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time. (6/14).

    Ranked list with limited commentary.

  • Traditional Country Hall of Fame.

    Not sure of origins of list. Looks like a personal website instead of an established Hall of Fame.

  • Ultimate Twang The All Time Top 100 (year?)

    No details on how or when this top 100 ranked list was created. Introduction says simply that “the Country Musicologist has utilized a special formula (kept locked up with the colonel's secret recipe, we are told) to devise the top 100 country music hits of all time.” No commentary.

  • Ultimate Twang Celebrating Songs that Defined the 2000s, 1990s, 1980s, 1970s, and 1960s (year?).

    Five different blog entires, each focused on a different decade. Link now goes to a home page and I haven’t found a way to access the individual blog entries.

  • Yahoo! Classic Pop Music Group Country Music’s All-Time Classics by Steve Sullivan (5/31/2012).

    Ranking of more than 1000 country songs based on 50 sources.


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