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40 classic honky tonk songs

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by hublocker, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. hublocker


    May 17, 2007
    If you were to name the 40 classic honky-tonk country songs what would they be?

    At the top of my list are:

    Heartaches by the number

    Crazy Arms

    Swingin' doors
  2. Trying not to cross the fine line between country/western swing/honky tonk...here are some more goodin's off the top of my head...

    Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor - Johnny Horton
    Honky Tonk Man - Jonny Horton
    I'm a One Woman Man - Jonny Horton
    Dog-Gone It Baby, I;m in Love - Carl Smith
    Live Fast,Love Hard,Die Young -Faron Young
    I Heard About You - Charline Arthur
    Honky Tonkin' Maddox Bros. & Rose also
    did a good job on this one
    (Now & Then, There's) A Fool Such As I -Hank Snow
    I Dont Hurt Anymore -Hank Snow
    Invitation to the Blues -Ray Price

    Anything from Hank Williams

    So many others....:hyper:

    So many more.......
  3. dmperry24


    Dec 11, 2006
    Stamford, CT
    Buck Owens-"Act Naturally", "Tiger by the Tail", "Together Again"
    Merle Haggard - "The Bottle Let Me Down," "Swingin Doors," "Sing Me Back Home," and so many more of his tunes.
    Emmylou Harris - "Luxury Liner"
    Waylon - "Good Hearted Woman"
    Wille - "Whiskey River," "Red Headed Stranger"
    George Strait - "All My Exes Live in Texas"
    Lacy J. Dalton - "Beer Drinkin Song," "Mama I've Always Loved Cowboys"
    Tanya Tucker - "Texas When I Die," "Delta Dawn"
    Highway 101 -"The Bed You Made For Me"
    Johnny Cash - "Big River," "Folsome Prison Blues," "Hey, Porter"
    I could go on and on...
  4. Geoff Firebaugh

    Geoff Firebaugh

    Apr 1, 2004
    Nashville TN
    Endorsing artist:Blast Cult, BNA Audio, Fender, Innovation Stings, K&K
    Buck Owens/ Rose Maddox- Mental Cruelty
    Johnny Paycheck- Motel Time Again
    Hank Williams- Never Get Out of The World Alive
    Wynn Stewart- Playboy
    Lefty Frizzell- Travelin Blues
    Bobby Bare- Detroit City
    The Wilburn Brothers- Barred From Every Honkytonk
    George Jones- Tarnished Angel
    Hawkshaw Hawkins- Rattlesnakin' Daddy
    Zeb Turner- Huckleberry Boogie
    Webb Pierce- There Stands the Glass
    Onie Wheeler- Jump Right Out of This Jukebox
    Merle Haggard- Misery and Gin.

    just a few...
  5. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Webb Pierce -- Honky Tonk Song
    Hank Williams -- Honky Tonk Blues
    Hank Williams -- Honky Tonkin'
    Rolling Stones -- Honky Tonk Women

    Even though it takes me off my riff, I'm gonna say anything at all by Buck Owens.
  6. WRBass


    Dec 10, 2006
    Houston, Tx.
    They may not be classic, but I like all the songs on Mark Chesnut's CD "Savin' the Honky Tonk". I like "Somebody Save the Honky Tonk" and "The Lord Loves the Drinkin' Man".
    (I hope my wife never reads this post!)

    A real classic (but there's no bass line) is Hank William's version of "Honky Tonk Heroes". But also check out the bass line that Waylon Jennings added to his version of the same song.
  7. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority”

    Apr 14, 2001
    Walkin' to New Orleans - Fats Domino
    Hank Williams - Cold Cold Heart, Lovesick Blues (I like Jerry Lee's version too)
    Ernest Tubb - Walkin' the Floor Over You

    Can't call it a "Classic", but if it were written 50-60 years ago "Gone, Gone Gone" by Wayne the Train Hancock. I love that tune.
  8. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    I particularly like shuffles in F because the steel guitar and fiddle sound so good there. Wynn Stewart's honky tonk era songs are some of my very favorites, including "Playboy" and "Wishful Thinking". His duets with Jan Howard are fun to recreate. Ralph Mooney's signature steel licks and rhythmic "bounce" on this stuff really gives it a nice lift.
  9. hublocker


    May 17, 2007

    I'd never heard of Wynn Stewart before.
  10. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    Wynn was yet another tragic success-phobic, charismatic, self-destructive, alcoholic singer-songwriter blessed with an amazing soaring, clear, and emotive voice. He had a tough, bright-sounding honky tonk band style in the late '50s and the great Ralph Mooney was in his band or recorded with him much of that time. Though a less gifted singer, Buck Owens took a lot of cues from Wynn to develope his commercially successful style and had the drive and discipline to tour relentlessy, which Wynn refused to do. Merle Haggard bascially learned how a good band works by playing bass and singing with Wynn for a while in Las Vegas during a long residency at Wynn Stewart's ill-fated casino and dance club. Wynn had in turn learned a lot from the historically neglected Skeets MacDonald in coming up with that tough southern California "Capitol Records" honky tonk sound.

    The 10-CD box set available on Bear Family is largely a waste of time for anyone but fanatics like me. The loads of mawkish stuff from the mid-'60s on are largely forgettable, though Clarence White was initially developing his Telecaster style on many of these records. There are single CD greatest hits compilations that feature most of Wynn's great honky tonk shuffle stuff from the late '50s and early '60s.
  11. hublocker


    May 17, 2007
    Thank you Steve!
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    Primary TB Assistant

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    Mar 8, 2021

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