Nothing quite compares to rolling down your windows, cruising down a dusty, starlit road and blasting a few country classics. There’s a little bit of Idaho in everyone, so toss out the stereotypes, add these tracks to your summer playlist and turn up the twang.
“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers
Rogers’ classic never gets old and offers the best advice to those just coming of age. “Know when to hold ‘em, know when’ to fold em’…and never count your money at the table.”
“Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard
Only mamas make it into the best country songs. This one is catchy, rhythmic and a perfect back road anthem.
“Family Tradition” by Hank Williams Jr.
You might know him for his Monday Night Football anthems, but this Hank is best known as one of the great country outlaws. “There’s nothing like a little family tradition.”
“Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty
This twangy love song isn’t known for sappy lyrics. Lynn and Twitty team up for this up-beat, southern inspired tune.
“Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford
This instant classic from 1955 is pure country gold. Originally written by Merle Travis in 1946, this hit became famous when Ford made it one of the first pop-country crossover songs.
Folsom Prison Blues and Complete Live at San Quentin (albums) by Johnny Cash
Every song on these albums is worth a listen, if not for Cash’s toe tapping, honest lyrics, then for the commentary and laughs generated by his memorable performances for the inmates on death row.
“Walking After Midnight”
by Patsy Cline
One of the county genre’s leading females, you can’t go wrong with this classic on a starlit back road.
“Hey Good Lookin'” by
This song may feature a few sexist lines about the kitchen, but it’s also known for some of the greatest twang of all time. And if you listen closely, you’ll hear the love song it’s meant to be.
“Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way” by Waylon Jennings
In the midst of a pop-rock generation, this ode to Hank Sr. reminds listeners what makes a true country song. There were no rhinestone suits, just a fiddle and guitar.
“I’ve been everywhere”
by Hank Snow
The original version of this classic: give it a listen and you’ll never regret it.
“Your Good Girl’s Gonna
Go Bad” by Tammy Wynette
Wynette helped pave the way for modern female country superstars with this hit about keeping up with the boys.