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Social Studies Resource Site

 Country & Western Stars

Many dislike country music, but that’s probably because of ‘new country’, which I shall refrain from commenting on lest feelings are hurt. Real country & western however, was honest, simple, and un-pretentious fare for the folks who grew our food and made our country work. The following is a personal list of my top 5 country & western stars. Try em’ and ya’ll may just come back for more...

6. Roy Rogers & Sons of the Pioneers

Not a country star at all, but one of the legends of Western Music. He hit it big in the early 1930s with songs like ‘Cool Water’ and  ‘Tumbling Tumbleweeds’. He was probably more famous  however as an actor and TV/Movie star, and even has his own museum and restaurant chain! The Roy Rodgers experience was rounded out by his wife and fellow star Dale Evans and his horse Trigger.

Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Cool Water

Out California Way

5. Buck Owens

Buck Owens played a huge role in spreading the ‘Bakersfield Sound’’ out of California. He had a series of No.1 hits in the 1960s, and his music is just the stuff for travellin’ across this great continent of ours. Besides just being a singer, he had his own TV show, and was one of the stars of the long-running ‘Hee-Haw’. Some of his biggest hits include ‘Act Naturally’, ‘Together Again’, and ‘Made in Japan’. Special mention to Don Rich and the Buckaroos.

Act Naturally

Made in Japan

Bridge Over Troubled Water

4. Hank Snow

Hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada, Hank Snow was born as poor as it gets, but fought adversity to make it big it the USA. A true professional, Hank Snow was known for such hits as ‘I’ve been Everywhere’ and ‘I’m Moving On’. God bless ya Hank Snow!

I’ve Been Everywhere

Golden Rocket

Sunday Morning Comin’ Down

3. Ernest Tubb

Ernest Tubb, also known as the Texas Troubadour, was born in a small Texas town now long gone, and worked for his father as a sharecropper. Like Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb worked, and worked, and worked at his trade to escape poverty. Lucky for us, he succeeded. His heyday was in the 1940s andd 50s, but he was widely respected in the country music world up to his death in 1984. Even when he was ailing in later years and took his oxygen through a hose, he always made time to sign every last autograph for his fans. Right to the end, Ernest Tubb was a true gentleman and a class act.

Thanks Alot

2 Songs - one with Loretta Lynn

Blue Christmas

2. John Cash

The ‘Man in Black’ is probably the most famous country star outside of country music and for good reason. Great music, a rebellious attitude, and love for those down and out in society made Johnny Cash an icon. Like Elvis Presley, despite his mainstream success, he continued to record gospel music througout his careerHis second wife, June Carter of the Carter Family, was an accomplished singer in her own right, and often toured with Johnny. They stayed married from 1968 until 2003, when they died within 4 months of each other.


Ring of Fire

Were You There

1. Slim Whitman

Slim Whitman was a relatively successful country star in the 1950s. By the 1960s, he had faded in popularity in the USA, but somehow was loved in Europe and especially England. In the early 1980s he roared back to the limelight through offering one of the first ‘As Seen on TV’ commericals for his music. A laughing stock by ‘serious’ music fans, Slim made sold millions of albums and made a fortune. Slim’s greatest claim to fame however is probably that he is the only country star to save the Earth from alien invasion in 1996. For showing up music snobs, doing his own thing for decades, and saving the planet, Slim makes the cut at No.1.

Rose Marie

Slim Whitman TV Commercial

Slim Whitman’s music kills aliens