K-Chuck Radio: When Country Music was Great

Here’s the deal.  I grew up listening to country music in the household, mostly when various family members had WOKO 1460AM soldered onto their car radios.  So with that in mind, I understand that this blog post will ostensibly “cheeze off” many contemporary country music fans.  I don’t care.

Because what they’re listening to is NOT true country music, per se.  What they hear is slick and over-produced and probably contains a few doses of auto-tune in it.

Or, at least, it’s not the country music of my youth.

For as often as I hear today’s country music artists on the radio and on TV… what I have in today’s K-Chuck Radio blog post are what I consider “true” country artists.  Such as…

The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.

Steel pedal guitar.  You should always have a steel pedal guitar in your country music band.  As well as a singer whose voice brings out happiness and love and “I can’t believe things are working out so well” emotions.

He Stopped Loving Her Today

If you don’t know who George Jones is… shame on you.  Because this man could take this sweet, painful ballad, and he could melt even a pawnbroker’s coldest heart with it.

I’m Not Lisa

Jessi Colter was part of the “outlaw country” genre of the 1970’s – think Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, if that helps – and this was her biggest hit.

A Very Special Love Song

At one point in the 1970’s, you could hear Charlie Rich on both country and pop stations, with songs like “The Most Beautiful Girl,” “Behind Closed Doors,” and this track that I felt was the best of his output.

It Was Almost Like A Song

There was always something about Ronnie Milsap’s songs – almost as if there was one point left in the lyrics and melody that allowed you to fill in your own memories and emotions to make the song your own.  Just like this track.

Big in Vegas

Yes, Buck Owens was the big star of the country-comedy variety show Hee Haw, but he was also a major trailblazer in the country music circuit.  I could have listed his track “Tiger By The Tail,” or his hit “Act Naturally” (covered by the Beatles, of all people), but I like this song of his the most.

Tips Of My Fingers

“Whispering” Bill Anderson had a ton of country hits, all of which took heartbreak and loneliness to a new level.  Amazing stuff.  And his voice… it fit perfectly with those lyrics.  Trust me.

Polka Dots and Polka Dreams

The unequaled stars of WWVA’s “Wheeling Jamboree,” Doc and Chickie Williams took this track and mixed polka and country music together into a fun little song.  One of my favorites from this duo.

Lonely Again

I could do a whole K-Chuck Radio on the legacy of Eddy Arnold.  He went from a honky-tonk singer to the main vocalist of Chet Atkins’ “Countrypolitan” sound.  And check out the chord progression in the build-up to the song’s refrain.  Sweet and smooth.

He’ll Have To Go

One last song for the playlist, and this time it’s a track in full stereo.  Jim Reeves was such a prolific performer, he recorded dozens and dozens of songs on audition tapes – which allowed his fans to hear new recordings of his nearly twenty-five years after he died in 1964.  Thankfully, he could enjoy his biggest hit – “He’ll Have To Go” – during his lifetime.

These are the country songs and artists that I’ve enjoyed.  Nice arrangement, eh?

Right here, on your home for the greatest music ever…

K-Chuck Radio!

(Man, I need to get a station ID jingle at some point in time…)