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The top 100, or is it?

Country Musings by Robert Loy, December 1997

I have a copy of the Dec. 5, 1995 Country Weekly that I've saved - and no, it's not for Irlene Mandrell's mashed potato recipe. It has a listing of the top 100 country songs.

I've never found one of these type of lists that I agree with 100 per cent - heck, I don't even agree with the lists I've made - but this one is better than most.

Usually when somebody makes a list like this you'd think country music was something Garth Brooks invented in 1989. I mean the 100 greatest songs of all time and somehow 90 percent of them are from the 1990's.

This is human nature, of course. Haven't you ever noticed that most Academy Award nominees are for films released during the last quarter of the year - not because they were necessarily better but because the nominators like everybody else have short memories?

So, give Country Weekly credit for not being short-sighted. Yes, Garth Brooks's "The Dance" is number one, but Tammy Wynette is number three, and Conway Twitty is number five, and, Marty Robbins, Ray Price, George Jones, Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline (twice) are all in the top 20.

Yes, there are some glaring errors - "You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma" should be a lot higher than 83, no one should mention "Fancy" (#25) and the sublimely sultry "Help Me Make Through the Night" (#24) in the same breath, and somehow "Indian Outlaw" ended up here instead of its rightful place on the top 100 worst songs of all time.

1 The Dance Garth Brooks
2 I Will Always Love You - Dolly Parton
3 Stand By Your Man Tammy Wynette
4 Forever And Ever Amen - Randy Travis
5 Hello Darlin' Conway Twitty
6 Crazy Patsy Cline
7 El Paso Marty Robbins
8 He Stopped Loving Her Today George Jones
9 Friends In Low Places Garth Brooks
10 Amarillo By Morning George Strait
11 For The Good Times Ray Price
12 Behind Closed Doors Charlie Rich
13 King Of The Road Roger Miller
14 Blue Eyes Cryin' In The Rain Willie Nelson
15 He'll Have To Go Jim Reeves
16 Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn
17 Chattahoochee - Alan Jackson
18 Always On My Mind Willie Nelson
19 I Fall To Pieces Patsy Cline
20 Delta Dawn Tanya Tucker
21 I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool Barbara Mandrell
22 When I Call Your Name Vince Gill
23 Mountain Music - Alabama
24 Help Me Make It Through The Night Sammi Smith
25 Fancy Reba McEntire
26 D-1-V-0-R-C-E Tammy Wynette
27 Luckenbach, Texas Waylon & Willie
28 Make The World Go Away Eddy Arnold
29 I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry Hank Williams Sr.
30 Your Cheatin' Heart Hank Williams Sr.
31 It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels Kitty Wells
32 No One Else On Earth Wynonna
33 Lookin' For Love Johnny Lee
34 God Bless The U.S.A. Lee Greenwood
3S Rhinestone Cowboy Glen Campbell
36 Good Hearted Woman Waylon & Willie
37 Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue Crystal Gayle
38 Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days) The Judds
39 Kentucky Rain Elvis Presley
40 Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys Waylon & Willie
41 Mama Tried Merle Haggard
42 The Devil Went Down To Georgia The Charlie Daniels Band
43 Here's A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares) Travis Tritt
44 Midnight In Montgomery Alan Jackson
45 Your Love Amazes Me John Berry
46 I Still Believe In You Vince Gill
47 Harper Valley PTA o Jeannie C. Riley
48 Rock My World Little Country Girl Brooks & Dunn
49 All The Gold In California The Gatlin Brothers
50 Kiss An Angel Good Morning Charley Pride
51 I Walk The Line Johnny Cash
52 Straight Tequila Night John Anderson
53 Maybe It Was Memphis Pam Tillis
54 Jose Cuervo Shelly West
55 Tight Fittin' Jeans Conway Twitty
56 Thinkin' Problem David Ball
57 I'm That Kind Of Girl Patty Loveless
58 Indian Outlaw Tim McGraw
59 Hello Walls Faron Young
60 Coat Of Many Colors Dolly Parton
61 Folsom Prison Blues Johnny Cash
62 Boot-Scootin' Booogie Brooks & Dunn
63 Galveston Glen Campbell
64 Satin Sheets Jeanne Pruett
65 Take Me Home, Country Roads John Denver
66 The Race Is On George Jones
67 Sleeping Single In A Double Barbara Mandrell
68. Shameless Garth Brooks
69 Down At The Twist And Shout Mary Chapin Carpenter
70 Mama He's Crazy The Judds
71 Cross My Heart George Strait
72 Independence Day Martina McBride
73 Redneck Girl The Bellamy Brothers
74 The Gambler Kenny Rogers
75 I Love A Rainy Night Eddie Rabbitt
76 Ring Of Fire Johnny Cash
77 Rose Colored Glasses John Conlee
78 Seminole Wind John Anderson
79 Bluest Eyes In Texas Restless Heart
80 Gone Country Alan Jackson
81 Fishin' In The Dark The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
82 Hey, Good Lookin' Hank Williams Sr.
83 You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma David Frizzell/Shelly West
84 Achy Breaky Heart Billy Ray Cyrus
85 Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town Kenny Rogers
86 Workin' Man Blues Merle Haggard
87 Love Me Like You Used To Tanya Tucker
88 All My Ex's Live In Texas George Strait
89 Take This Job And Shove It Johnny Paycheck
90 Bubba Shot The Jukebox Mark Chesnutt
91 Elvira The Oak Ridge Boys
92 T-R-0-U-B-L-E Travis Tritt
93 Please Help Me, I'm Falling Hank Locklin
94 Wabash Cannonball Roy Acuff
95 Old Dogs, Children And Watermelon Wine Tom T Hall
96 80's Ladies K.T Oslin
97 End Of The World Skeeter Davis
98 If You're Gonna Play In Texas (You Gotta Have A Fiddle In The Band)
Alabama
99 Flowers On The Wall The Statler Brothers
100 If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me
Bellamy Brothers