By Walter Price
Depending on whom you’re drinking with the Top 5 country songs of all time will be a long and winding debate and unless you or your partner think something recorded in the past 10 years makes the list, you’ll probably both be right. No need for fisticuffs…
George Jones’ rendition of He Stopped Loving Her Today (Bobby Braddock& Curly Putman 1980) would be most people’s choice for #1 and rightly so. If you filter the list to songs written and performed by the artist then you’d find Hank Williams’ Your Cheatin’ Heart (Williams 1952) topping out my side of the argument.
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Released the same month Williams passed away from complications of being a well-traveled superstar, January 1953, the straight forward personal tale pulls no punches and has filled melancholy barroom souls ever since. There is power in the simplicity from Williams that couldn’t be duplicated.
As that may be, there have been some amazing covers or tributes, if you will, over the years and here are the three that top my list.
Louis Armstrong 1953
Ray Charles 1962
Patsy Cline ‘live’ 1958
BONUS: Hank Williams, Jr. 1964