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Rowdy '70s/'80s Country

by Chuck Eddy

Rowdy '70s/'80s Country

About this playlist

Cut-rate, as-seen-on-TV mail-order label K-Tel Records had a good idea way back in 1983, when it put out a vinyl compilation of country hits called Rowdy Country, with a flannel-wristed fist crashing through a wooden fence on the cover. The idea was so successful that in 1985 the label unleashed a sequel called More Rowdy Country, with that same fence-smashing fist (only this time seemingly viewed later at night). This mix pays tribute to those old LPs, repeating manly selections when possible.

Specifically, the first 15 of these 20 shin-kickers were included on one of those two K-Tel albums. So we have numbers by hell-raising outlaws like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson (covering The Allman Brothers!), Johnny Paycheck and David Allan Coe; hard-drinking honky-tonkers like Moe Bandy, Vern Gosdin and Johnny Bush; and funky rednecks like Jerry Reed, Earl Thomas Conley and Mel McDaniel. Tom T. Hall's "I Like Beer" is a smart guy taking a beverage break, and urban cowboy T.G. Sheppard's boot-scootin' "War Is Hell (On the Homefront Too)" condenses an entire season of hot Army Wives action into just over three minutes.

Five songs from the '70s and '80s that didn’t make the K-Tel collections round out our playlist. But perhaps Gary Stewart, John Anderson, Joe Ely, Jerry Lee Lewis and Merle Haggard should have been included the first time around. Every bit as rootin' as they are tootin', they definitely fit right in.

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