Friday Night Videos
On the Ranch
Not the one that's snortin' cocaine, when the honky tonk's all closed
But the one that prays for more rain, heaven knows
To start of, three generations of Hank Williams. The first will be remembered as one of the biggest pop music icons of the twentieth century, up there with Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Elvis Presley, and Bob Dylan. The first video is his early fifties hit "Cold Cold Heart."
A trend that started in the late 80's had the children digitally performing alongside their parents in music videos. Here's Hank Williams Jr. and Sr. with the popular "There's a Tear in My Beer."
With the help of a good banjo, it seems Hank Williams III is a little more country in live settings than his hellbilly image suggests. Here he is with the Damn Band doing a cool hoedown of "Smoke and Wine."
She was the first individual female to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and still its reigning chanteuse. Though she only lived to 30, Patsy Cline became a giant in pop and country music. Here she is performing the Willie Nelson penned "Crazy."
More country divas! Dolly Parton with "I Will Always Love You," Tanya Tucker with "Delta Dawn," and Tammy Wynette with "Stand By Your Man."
Before he became the man in black, Johnny Cash with four songs: "I Walk the Line," "There You Go," "Next in Line," and "Train of Love."
Cowboy hats, plantation style ties, and haystacks - now that's country. Ernest Tubb performing "Tomorrow Never Comes" with Billy Byrd on guitar.
Speaking of guitar, country music virtuosos are often overlooked next to their classical, jazz, or metal cousins. Here's a few examples of hot country guitar; Chet Atkins with "Humoresque," Jerry Reed with a smokin' five minute medley (endure the half minute banter at the beginning with Porter Wagoner and the slow intro, at about the 1:45 mark you'll that classic 'chickin pickin' sound, Leo Kottke and Doc Watson with "The Last Steam Engine Train," and Albert Lee with "Fun Ranch Boogie."
I've always preferred Western over Country, stompin' cowboy tales over twangy love songs. Stories like Ned Kelly, White Mansions, and yes, The Gambler. For a Western jam, it doesn't get any better than the Highwaymen. Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson performing "The Highwayman."
Here's Waylon on his own with probably the coolest tempo change in country music in "Honky Tonk Heroes."
And the coolest fiddle in country, the Charlie Daniels Band with "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."
He's hardly recognizable in the first video, but it's 1967 Willie Nelson with "Night Life." The second video has him in full hippie persona with fellow country hippie Neil Young for the terrific 80's hit "Are There Anymore Real Cowboys."
So these are certainly not the cowboys Willie and Neil were singing about, but they are the new breed of country music. Billy Ray Cyrus with "Achy Breaky Heart," Garth Brooks with "The Dance," Tim McGraw with "Memory Lane," and Shania Twain with "Up."