Back in March, each of us set out to pick 100 of our favorite albums. The intention was simply to focus on personal favorites rather than trying to pick a list of the 100 greatest albums of all-time.
When we got done with those lists, we compared our choices, and 12 of our picks were the same. So we decided to rank those 12 picks in order and present them in descending order from No. 12 to No. 1. Today we present No. 5.
- Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb
ALBUM OF THE DAY
Did I Shave My Legs For This? (1996)
"I've Loved Enough To Know," "We Danced Anyway," "Count Me In" "Before We Ever Heard Goodbye" and "Strawberry Wine"
Well, this is a curveball. I have always loved this album, but I never dreamed that it would show up on both of our lists. I'm glad it did because it's absolutely worthy. Deana Carter, the daughter of country singer Fred Carter Jr., burst onto the scene with this stunning debut record that grabbed plenty of attention with its seven singles, including three that reached No. 1 on the country chart. Every time I heard a new song on the radio from this album, I loved it. But when I listened to "Strawberry Wine" for the first time, I knew I had to head to the record store to pick up a copy. It was $15 well spent. That single took the album into the stratosphere, including a CMA for Single of the Year win in 1997, but I quickly found out that it was one of many great songs on the album. The combination of lyrics, music and Carter's beautiful voice team up to make great music that holds up to this day. It's music that seemed timeless even when I was hearing it for the first time. It still does.
I agree with Chuck here; I knew he liked this album, but I had no idea he would include it on his list. But here we are, and after ranking both of our lists of consensus picks, this one checks in at No. 5 out of 12.
So obviously we both like this album a lot, and I have listened to it probably a hundred times through the years. When it first came out, I couldn't quit playing it. I can remember in late '97 when I was visiting Nashville to find an apartment before moving from Texas, I spent much of the weekend driving around listening to it. For that reason, it's an album that brings to mind those final days and months I spent living in Texas. Chuck was my roommate for those final months before I moved, and I suspect we probably gave it a few spins driving around town. It's a phenomenal record with well-written songs including the unforgettable "Strawberry Wine," and it had a surprisingly folky sound on some the tunes including that one. Carter embraced it performing barefoot on stage and dancing shoeless in videos.
In fact, one of the enduring images of that era is an elated Carter winning Single of the Year for "Strawberry Wine" and bounding across the CMA stage barefoot before jumping into presenter Ricky Skaggs' arms. It was pure, unrestrained joy - the kind of feeling you get listening to this beautiful record, too.
BONUS ALBUM OF THE DAY
Fred Carter, Jr.
Songs Of The British Isles (2000)
Why I Love It
Deana Carter was the daughter of legendary guitarist Fred Carter, Jr., who also worked as an executive in the Nashville music industry.
He also made some records of his own including this album of recognized standards that were transported across the pond from the British Isles only to become standards in the New World as well. Carter's unique interpretations bring new life to these traditional tunes that you'll recognize ranging from "Greensleeves" to "House Of The Rising Sun" and "Scarborough Fair."
"Danny Boy," "Barbara Allen" and "Beautiful Dreamer"