Classic CountryWhile the divide between classic and contemporary music of any genre is typically fairly wide, in the various Ultimate Grammy Collections, it is most evident between the Contemporary Country and Classic  Country volumes. While the former features many great and well-known songs, the latter is a hit parade that speaks volumes to the vast changes the genre has lived through.

This classic collection features a conglomeration of culturally memorable hits, from Roger Miller’s unforgettable 1965 classic “King of the Road” to the inimitable Willie Nelson’s 1982 love song “Always On My Mind.” If these two tracks can be considered bookends, the 14 tracks in between are a veritable encyclopedia set of historical country perfection.

Each song on this album signifies a genuine country classic still heard in wide rotation even on country stations today. From The Charlie Daniels Band banging out the 1979 hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” to Tammy Wynette crooning her timeless demand for women to “Stand By Your Man,” each performer has a unique spirit, and each song its own life and message.

Speaking of historical figures, the legendary Johnny Cash appears here twice; once solo with his rowdy 1969 hit “A Boy Named Sue,” and then in a duet with June Carter on “If I Were A Carpenter,” from the very next year. The Red Headed Stranger, Willie Nelson, also makes two appearances; alone with 1982’s Song of the Year “Always On My Mind” and then in the incomparable duet “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” with Waylon Jennings. Kenny Rogers steps in with his 1979 Best Country Song winner “The Gambler” while Dolly Parton’s 1981 Best Country Song winner “9 To 5” is every bit as exciting and relevant today as it was almost 30 years ago.

The real standout – in a field of standouts - is George Jones’ emotionally intense “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” considered by many to be the ultimate country song. Another conspicious hit is Jerry Reed’s lesser-known “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” which possesses the fire and energy of classic southern rock, though it maintains it’s country roots.

Anyone with a penchant for old country and an appreciation of compilations can’t go wrong with this new album from Shout! Records, celebrating 50 years of Grammy Awards.

Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: A near-perfect collection of classic country tunes
Stay Away if: Even classic country doesn’t do it for you

To purchase Ultimate Grammy Collection: Classic Country, visit Amazon
For more information and a track lising, visit The Ultimate Grammy Collection’s homepage
For Zach’s review of Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary Pop, visit BloggerNews
For Zach’s review of Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary R&B, visit BloggerNews
For Zach’s review of Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary Country, visit BloggerNews

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