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Who Are the Greatest Country Music Artists Everyone Should Have In Their Collection?

Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton? Who are the best? *Updated* with a dark horse nomination.

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PJ Lifestyle Pop Culture Debates!

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May 20, 2014 - 2:00 pm

In partnership with the new fiction publishing platform Liberty Island, PJ Lifestyle is going to begin promoting and co-hosting a series of debates and discussions about popular culture. The goal is to figure out what works and what doesn’t so that in the future we can promote and create better fiction and culture of our own. These are public brainstorming sessions for writers and culture advocates interested in developing a more vibrant popular culture. You’re invited to submit your answers to any of these questions — or a related one of your own! — that interests you:

A) in the comments

B) Via email to PJ Lifestyle editor Dave Swindle.

C) at your blog, then let us know in the comments or via email. 

The most interesting answers may be linked, crossposted, or published at PJ Lifestyle. Also check out the previous weeks’ writing prompts: 5 Geek Questions To Provoke Debates About the Future of Sci-Fi and Fantasy5 Controversial Questions To Inspire Spirited Debates About Music.

Chris Queen:What’s Wrong with Country Music Today?

Chris Queen: Alabama’s Back… And It ‘Feels So Right’

Chris Queen: Why Are There So Many Country Music Awards Shows?

This week we’re talking about music genres. What debate questions do you want to see featured next?

Updated: An email received from Jim M.:

I’m not writing to criticize. Those are some fine artist (videos/songs) that were included in the post. All worthy of inclusion.

I only thought I’d write to mention a very dark horse, Workingman’s Dead by the Grateful Dead.

Some of the finest bluegrass south, north, or west of the Mason-Dixon.
And I’m neither a Deadhead nor a big Country music guy.

PJ Lifestyle Pop Culture Debates Features a new prompt each weekday to weigh the good, the bad, the overrated, the unbelievable, and the amazing throughout the worlds of books, film, and TV. We can't figure out how to build a greater pop culture until we dissect the mess we already have. Want to contribute your perspective to the debate? Email PJ Lifestyle editor Dave Swindle with your take: DaveSwindlePJM [@] gmail.com Image via shutterstock/ DarkGeometryStudios

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All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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Lester Flatt
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Stonemans.

Earnst "Pop" Stoneman was one of the earliest country artists to be recorded back in 1924. Roni, Donna and Scotty Stoneman are/were instrumental virtuosos in their own right, and it amazes me that they are so little recognized today. In the 50s and 60s the Stonemans performed an eclectic mix of old time string-band music, Bluegrass, and folk-influenced country pop.

The trouble with country music today is that it is too focused on vocalists, while country instrumentalists are too often just regarded as window-dressing for songs that would otherwise be classed as being in some other genre.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Stonemans.

Roni, Donna and Scotty Stoneman were all instrumental virtuosos in their own right. 'Pop' Earnest Stoneman was one of Country's earliest recording artists, back in 1924. In the 50s and 60s, the Stonemans recorded an eclectic mix of old-time string-band music, Bluegrass, and folk influenced country pop.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
No one has mentioned Jimmie Rodgers, "The Father of Country Music", yet?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmie_Rodgers_%28country_singer%29

Mule Skinner Blues (1930) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ0ppOZ967k

This is probably my favorite of his: Never No Mo' Blues (1928) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBpZI2Omeb4
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Johnny Horton, Waylon Jennings, Tom T. Hall, George Jones.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb.

Hark Williams of course will always be #1.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Patsy Cline. Johnny Cash. Dolly Parton. Glen Campbell. Loretta Lynn.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you don't include at least 20 artists who were singing before 1960 you are doing it wrong. Go back before that. Learn where it came from. You would be surprised that some tunes you know date to at least the civil war.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Roy Clarke, Pam Tillis, Tanya Tucker, Merle Haggard and probably many I'm leaving out.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Patsy Cline.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
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