Day 12: The Coronavirus Countdown - 100 Days of Great Music

Wow. Where do we start?

We took yesterday off, but we're back today - one day after finding out that John Prine had finally lost his battle with the coronavirus.

Mr. Prine issued his debut album in 1971, and every song from the album has gone on to become a folk classic. We shared that a couple of weeks ago, but you can link to it here. Also, His most recent release, the 'Tree of Forgivness," was issued just two years ago and is worth your time. In between, he built a legendary career on his keen observations of everyday life delivered with his trademark wink-and-nod humor that always hit the mark.

Your bonus pick today is yet another Prine album, however - his 2005 release "Fair and Square" - is one of his better more recent efforts featuring gems like "Glory Of True Love," "Crazy As A Loon" and "Long Monday."

He put up one hell of a fight, spending almost two weeks in ICU, but in the end, it was just too much for a 73-year-old man who had survived at least two bouts with cancer.

Thanks for the music, Mr. Prine. We'll cherish it until the end of our days.

- Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb


James Taylor

Greatest Hits (1976)

Why I Love It

When it comes to must-own greatest hits albums, this one is a heavyweight champion. Although it was released when I was seven years old, it's an essential piece of my music fandom. In my opinion, James Taylor has one of the coolest voices ever. Nobody makes a song his own like him — even if it's a cover. These songs are timeless — and always will be.

Album Highlights

"Carolina in My Mind," "Fire and Rain" and "Sweet Baby James"

Kendall on Chuck's Album of the Day

What a pick today from Chuck. What a record. It may be a little spotty as a Greatest Hits collection - several of these weren't actually hits, and other actual hits are missing - but that's more a squabble about what to call the album (maybe "The Best of James Taylor" or "The Essential Collection" would be more accurate). Because what's here probably is the best moments from his early years, and that's what makes this essential listening.


Rosanne Cash

King's Record Shop (1987)

Why I Love It

Rosanne Cash was my favorite female country singer of the '80s, and remains high on my list to this day. She made a lot of great records, but none have ever topped this memorable set which stands as one of the best country albums by anybody in the entire decade.

Her cover of John Hiatt's "The Way We Make A Broken Heart" is so good it's almost startling to hear it in the second track wondering if the album's sequence will stand up to the challenge. Trust me, it does. "If You Change Your Mind," "Runaway Train," and her cover of her father Johnny's "Tennessee Flat Top Box" all hold their own while scoring at country radio. Several of those hits seem, in retrospect, to foreshadow the coming end of her marriage to husband and producer Rodney Crowell.

Album Highlights

"The Way We Make A Broken Heart," "Runaway Train" and "I Don't Have To Crawl"

Chuck on Kendall's Album of the Day

You can't go wrong with any Rosanne Cash album. This is a special one. Her cover of her dad's hit, "Tennessee Flat Top Box," is awesome, and there's not a single misfire on this hit record.

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