Rock Artists cover Country songs Part 2

Rock Artists cover Country songs Part 2
There are so many great Rock covers of Country songs but certainly one of the most prominent is this one, the original by Roger Miller and the cover by Janis Joplin.
Me and Bobby McGee” by Roger Miller (1969) written by Fred Foster and Kris Kristofferson
Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin (1971). The last song recorded by Janis during the “Pearl” album session only a few days before her death and it went on to become her only #1 Billboard hit song. Covered over 145 times but even Kris Kristofferson himself can’t hear the song without thinking of Janis.
Oh Lonesome Me” written and performed by Don Gibson (1957). He has written and recorded numerous hit songs and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. This song has been covered 163 times but very rarely out of the country music style.
Oh Lonesome Me” by The Beau Brummels (1965) were formed in San Francisco, they had a hit song with “Laugh, Laugh” in 1964. This was a crucial song that was the springboard for the music scene that was to challenge the groups from the British Invasion.
Oh Lonesome Me” by Neil Young in 1970. A very different take on this song.
The Long Black Veil” by Lefty Frizzell, written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin. Another great Country story song, Marijohn, also a Country singer wrote an ‘answer’ version of this song from the female’s perspective. Covered over 100 times, including by country greats like Johnny Cash and Bobby Bare.
The Long Black Veil” by The Band (1970) Music from the Big Pink Album.
Click here for more covers of this great song
Ring of FireI have already blogged about this song covered by Johnny Cash and originally recorded by Anita Carter, written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore. There are some ‘non’ country versions most of which are not that great and Frank Zappa’s version is just plain weird (shocker!). There is however a great rock cover out of the 188 versions of this song.
Ring of Fire” by Social Distortion (1990)
Singing the Bluesby Marty Robbins(1955), written by Melvin Endsley.
A cover by Dave Edmunds(1980), and Paul McCartney
I Saw the Light” written and performed by Hank Williams. Why so much Hank? I was reminded that it’s a bit like saying why so much Elvis or the Beatles. Williams is one of the most important and influential singer-songwriters of all time, in his short career (he died at age 29) he had 30 top ten hits and five more came after his death, three of which went to number one. I will dedicate a blog to him but for now another great cover of one of his hit songs.
I Saw the Light” by Dash Rip Rock, ready for some Punk Rock Gospel?
A good place to end there though I may revisit this topic again.
Click here for a playlist of all the videos

Music Trivia. Mae Axton co-wrote (w/Tommy Durden) “Heartbreak Hotel” for Elvis Presley (1956). Her famous son Hoyt Axton wrote Three Dog Night’s 1971 hit, “Joy To The World“. Both songs went to #1 on Billboard. Far as I know no other no other family (with the exception of husband/wife teams) has accomplished this amazing feat!

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Rock Artists cover Country songs

Rock artists covering country songs became quite the fashion in the early 60’s, often the domain of the groups of the British Invasion, but it was North American Rockers that started the trend.
Your Cheatin’ Heartwritten and performed by the legend-Hank Williams (1952) Covered 173 times
Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps (1958). Vincent was a pioneer in Rockabilly music and has inspired many, still revered and rightly so.
Act Naturally”, Buck Owens (1963) written  by Voni Morrison and Johnny Russell
Brian Hyland (1964) an American singer was the first to cover this song in a ‘non’ country fashion.
The Beatles (1965) as I have blogged already the Beatles were not afraid to tackle songs from many different genres.
Tulsa Timeby Don Williams (1978), written by Danny Flowers, covered by 
Jolenewritten and performed by Dolly Parton in 1973. Much more to say about her 😉 but this iconic song has not been given proper justice in the cover song category, perhaps artists shy away from this as there are some songs artists feel that are a bit ‘untouchable’.

Los Valentinos (1977) a group from Denmark were the first to give this song a different flavour and it doesn’t taste so good, so we’ll move right along to the next ones to do so! Strawberry Switchblade (1985) this UK band had a bit of hit with this version. The Stone Coyotes (2001) a very decent rock version.
 Move it on Overwritten and performed by Hank Williams (1947), one of Hanks early big hit songs and covered 36 times.
Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames (1965). Georgie has a certain flair for sure and while this is more of a Big Band sound it was the first ‘non’ country version I could find. Georgie had great taste in the songs he covered.
George Thorogood
George Thorogood and The Destroyers (1978). Maybe one of the best covers of a Country song ever.
El Pasowritten by and performed by Marty Robbins (1959). One of the great story songs of the wild west.
The Grateful Dead (1976) known to have done this song for many years on stage they made a recording in 1976.
A Good Year for theRosesGeorge Jones (1970) written by Jerry Chesnut
Elvis Costello & The Attractions (1981). I found a new respect for George Jones’s voice and music after finding out about the original version of this amazing cover.
Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell (1968) written by Jimmy Webb. Certainly one of the finest performers in Country music and one of his most enduring songs.
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (1969), not so much rock but a different take for sure.
R.E.M. (1996), I really enjoyed this version by a band known for their originality, they are giving a fresh take on this classic country song.
I’m Movin On” Hank Snow (The Singing Ranger) and His Rainbow Ranch Boys (May 1950) written by Hank Snow. A true superstar in the early days of Nashville, this Canadian born in Brooklyn, Queens County, Nova Scotia has a fascinating story (including helping to launch Elvis’s career) worthy of a future blog. But for now his hit country song that was initially turned down by RCA records has since been covered 96 times, but the first rock version was done by a group from Canada.
The Beau Marks (1961) from Montreal.
The Rolling Stones (March 1965) were the next ones to give this a rock twist.
Plenty more great covers of County tunes and I’ll blog on this again.
Music Trivia. What country superstar was asked to join a rock band? It was Vince Gill. While playing as a session musician he was invited by Mark Knopfler to join Dire Straits.

Click here for a playlist of all the videos.
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John Denver

John Denver

Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. December 31, 1943-October 12, 1997. Most will know of the tragic passing of John Denver at the age of 53. Denver was an experienced pilot but according to the investigation a poorly designed fuel switch in his experimental plane caused him to turn around in the cockpit and he lost control. His plane crashed into Monterey Bay near Pacific Grove, California.
Apart from being a gifted singer he played a very decent acoustic guitar and wrote some of the most memorable songs of the 1970’s. Known for is concern for ecology, his photography and his humanitarian works he also made inroads in international relations being one of the first U.S. artists to be welcome into post cold war U.S.S.R. as well as touring mainland China.

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