Day 79: The Coronavirus Countdown - 100 Days of Great Music

We're all about the country music today again, and unfortunately, we got the news this morning that the legendary Charlie Daniels had passed away at the age of 83.

Daniels is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and while many country artists have successfully bridged the gap between country and pop, not many have managed to meld country and rock together as seamlessly as Charlie Daniels did. In fact, depending on your frame of reference, you may view Daniels as more of a Southern rocker than as a straight-up country artist, and there's nothing wrong with that. He is, indeed, both of those at once. His 1979 album Million Mile Reflections features his biggest hit, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia," and it is your bonus pick of the day.

- Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb


Garth Brooks

No Fences (1990)

Why I Love It

It's not easy for me to put into words how much Garth Brooks means to me as an artist. From the first time I heard one of his songs, I connected to the Oklahoma native on an emotional level. I was just starting college when this album turned Garth Brooks into a household name. It's easy to hear why. Blending the many genres of music that Brooks grew up loving, he perfectly puts his unique spin on 10 fantastic songs. This album has one of the all-time greatest ballads ("Unanswered Prayers,") one of the all-time greatest honky-tonk sing-a-longs ("Friends in Low Places,") and one of the all-time greatest revenge songs ("The Thunder Rolls.") So, the rest of the album around those songs must be filler, right? Not an unanswered prayer. Every song on this country classic holds its own. "Wolves," the album closer, is one of my favorite Garth songs. Witnessing the scope of his amazing career, which currently includes a tour of sold-out stadium shows, has been something special. This is a perfect album on every level.

Album Highlights

"The Thunder Rolls," "Friends in Low Places" and "Wolves"

Kendall on Chuck's Album of the Day

"Friends In Low Places" dropped in the summer of 1990, just before Chuck and I met that fall at Kilgore College. This was one of the first artists and albums that we bonded over musically. At the time, Chuck was a rocker with an earring and a Poison logo on the back of his denim jacket. I was a hick who wore Wranglers and a cowboy hat. Garth's love for both classic rock and country brought it all together, and it planted the seeds for a friendship that stretches back now 30 years. Thanks for playing along, Chuck, and helping me pick out the music here.



Just Sylvia (1982)

Why I Love It

Sylvia was my sister's favorite singer, and I remember attending a concert with her in Marshall, Texas, to see Sylvia.

We got to meet her afterward, and I was completely mesmerized by her. It was sometime around the time this album, Just Sylvia, came out in 1982 which featured Sylvia's signature hit "Nobody."

It's an overlooked song these days, but at the time it was a massive hit crossing over to the pop charts and propelling Sylvia to ACM Female Vocalist of the Year honors. I've always loved the album, too, which also featured the hits "Sweet Yesterday" and "Like Nothing Ever Happened."

Album Highlights

"Nobody," "Sweet Yesterday" and "Like Nothing Ever Happened"

Chuck on Kendall's Album of the Day

We are all about the country albums today on the countdown. I love this selection by Kendall. In addition to being one of my first music crushes, Sylvia has an amazing voice that is evident all over this great record. The first single, "Snapshot," was a huge crossover success that I remember hearing in heavy rotation on country and pop radio stations. The song also sets the tone for a solid, well-crafted country album with pop leanings. It's well worth your time.

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