Country Covers of Classic Country Songs (Part 3)
I’ve talked more than a bit about Hank Williams and there’s certainly much more to say, here is another great song that’s been covered over 120 times. “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You)” written by Hank Williams (1951). A great cover from Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez (2005). If you are wondering where the duet idea came from here is an old television clip Hank Williams & Anita Carter (1953).
There are many great versions of this song so I’ve put together a playlist which includes Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and a home recording from Elvis Presley.
“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” written by the legendary Fred Rose, is one of my favorite country songs as there are so many fantastic versions. The original performance is by Roy Acuff and His Smoky Mountain Boys from a 1945 radio show, it was later released in 1947. Many will remember this was Willie Nelson’s first #1 hit record (as a singer) in October of 1975. Another playlist worthy song with over 100 versions including what is believed to be the last song recorded by Elvis Presley in February 1976, he of course died August 16, 1977.
Another favorite is “You Don’t Know Me” by Eddy Arnold (1955) written by Eddy Arnold and the creative and prolific Cindy Walker. Covered nearly 200 times including once again by Elvis (1967). Mickey Gilley hit #1 on the Hot 100 Country chart in 1981. I came to this song from this version by Ray Charles (1962), he hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary and #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
“Why Me” written and performed by Kris Kristofferson (1972) was his only #1 Country hit song which spent nearly a record number of weeks in the top 40 at 19, it also went to #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Recorded once again by Elvis (1974) with bandmate JD Sumners very deep voice featured. Wanda Jackson was the first to cover this as “Why Me, Lord” in 1973. Johnny Cash in 1994.
“She Thinks I Still Care” by George Jones, written by Dicky Lee. George hit #1 in 1962 with this classic and one of 7 chart hits he would have that year alone. This song would repeat at #1 in 1974 with a version by one of the best voices in music Anne Murray. Just in case you were wondering, yes! Elvis (1976).
“Always on My Mind” by B.J. Thomas, written by Johnny Christopher, Wayne Carson and Mark James. Recorded in late 1969 (or into 1970) this was never released until 1996. The first actual release was from Gwen McCrae (1972).
Covered around 240 times it would hit the charts with many artists but only one would hit #1 on the Country and #5 on the Hot 100, Willie Nelson. Another playlist which includes of course a version by Elvis ;).
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