31 Best 60s Country Songs

Best 60s Country Songs

The 1960s was a great time for country music. It was a time for artists to tell heart-warming and wrenching stories through melody. It was also the turning point for artists to mix genres, breaking down barriers between Country, Rock, and R&B.

Some country artists on this list were so talented that they made it on the list more than once.

With that said, here’s our list of the best 60s country songs.

I Fall to Pieces, Patsy Cline

Song Year: 1961

I Fall to Pieces was reluctantly recorded by Patsy Cline in 1961. Cline was in a terrible car accident and could not perform the song live for quite a while, but after healing, she decided to release it on her second album, Showcase. Despite the doubt and slow start, the song became a huge crossover hit going down in history as one of Cline’s biggest hits, which several artists have covered over the years.

Ring Of Fire, Johnny Cash

Song Year: 1963

June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore wrote Ring Of Fire. It is considered to be a testament of love from June to Johnny. The song was originally recorded by June Carter Cash’s sister, Anita Carter. Several months later, Johnny Cash recorded the song in his own interpretation, and it became a number one hit and stayed there for seven weeks.

In 2004, co-writer Kilgore wanted to sell rights for the song to be used in a Preparation H hemorrhoid cream commercial. However, the Carter heirs didn’t see the humor and refused the offer. Nevertheless, it was a good call since the song gained new popularity in 2010, certifying the song, Gold.

King of the Road, Roger Miller

Song Year: 1965

Roger Miller wrote King of the Road, telling the tale of a hobo and his daily life. The story talks about freedom and being, well, …you guessed it, the King of the Road. The song became a crossover hit, reaching number one on the Country Charts and Easy Listening.

Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line

Song Year: 1968

Before Waylon Jennings started the Outlaw’s revolution, he was with Buddy Holly. After the loss of Holly, Jennings moved into the folk-country sound and became roomies with Johnny Cash. Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line was the second single off of Only The Greatest. It quickly reached number two on the charts and stayed for five weeks.

A Week in a Country Jail, Tom T. Hall

Song Year: 1969

A Week in a Country Jail was released late in 1969, just making it onto the 60s Country’s list. It reached number one on the charts as it tells the story of a man who tries to convince the jailer's wife to skip town with him after the judge leaves him broke.  

I’ve Been Everywhere, Hank Snow

Song Year: 1962

I’ve Been Everywhere initially listed Australian towns, but later changed the toponyms to North America. In doing so, Hank Snow took the song to number one. After that, the song was adapted to other toponyms and covered by various artists around the world. In 2021, supergroup L.A. Rats covered the song for Netflix’s original The Ice Road.

Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind), Loretta Lynn

Song Year: 1966

Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind) is off the ninth studio album with the same title. The album peaked at number one and made history, making Loretta Lynn the first female country to become certified Gold by RIAA. In addition, the single was the first number one for Lynn. 

You Don’t Know Me, Ray Charles

Song Year: 1962

Ray Charles released the album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. You Don’t Know Me reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and crossed over to multiple genres. The album was a cross-genre challenge that changed racial barriers during a pivotal time during the Civil Right Movement. 

Jackson, Johnny Cash with June Carter Cash

Song Year: 1967

In 1964, June Carter did her first notable performance with Johnny Cash. Three years later, Carter and Cash made a huge splash with the song Jackson, which alluded to the two getting married. Jackson made it to number two on the charts. Shortly after, Carter changed her professional name to Carter-Cash. 

Skip a Rope, Henson Cargill

Song Year: 1968

Skip a Rope was Henson Cargill’s only hit off the same-titled album. The song reached number one and remained there for five weeks, spending a total of sixteen weeks on the charts. The song was a statement piece during Civil Rights as it pointed out domestic abuse, tax fraud, and the important part parents play in raising children. 

Six Days on the Road, Dave Dudley

Song Year: 1963

Dave Dudley was famous for the truck-driving country sound. Six Days on the Road peaked at number two on the country charts and slid into the Hot 100. It became a truck driver’s anthem, setting off the trend of truck-driving songs for the next 25 years. In addition, it reestablished the truck-driving profession as being desirable to live on the road.

Hello Walls, Faron Young

Song Year: 1961

Faron Young had landed on the charts for over twenty-five years yet, never got full recognition as one of the greatest. When Hello Walls was released, it hit number one and remained on the charts for 23 weeks. Hello Walls was the song that ultimately introduced writer Willie Nelson to the public as the song describes the window and the walls after “she” is gone.

Working Man Blues, Merle Haggard

Song Year: 1968

Released off the album A Portrait of Merle Haggard, Working Man Blues became an instant hit and a long-term career song for Haggard. The song is a tribute to Haggard’s fans, primarily blue-collared workers. Working Man Blues mentions the stress of balancing work and family and participating in a few drinks after work. The song reached number one on the country charts.

She Thinks I Still Care, George Jones

Song Year: 1962

She Thinks I Still Care, written by Dickey Lee and Steve Duffy, is the first song George Jones recorded for United Artists. Some remember Jones not being thrilled about the song when it was played for him. However, Jones remembered being in love with it from the start, as he said in the 1989, Same Ole Boy Documentary.

Flowers on the Wall, The Statler Brothers

Song Year: 1963

The Statler Brothers were discovered by the Man in Black, Johnny Cash. Flowers on the Wall spent four weeks at number two on Hot Country Singles. In addition, the group won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary (R&R) Performance – Group. 

Stand By Your Man, Tammy Wynette

Song Year: 1968

Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man is one of the most recognized songs in Country Music. The song was an instant hit, staying on the charts at number one for three weeks. Wynette was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2010, Stand By Your Man was selected by the Library of Congress to become part of the National Recording Registry. 

Act Naturally, Buck Owens

Song Year: 1963

Act Naturally is a tale of someone who has been scorned by love and could now play a broken-hearted character in a movie without any acting experience. The song became the first hit for Buck Owens, reaching number one. In 1989, Ringo Star and Owens recorded a new duet version, which stayed on the Billboard country charts for eleven weeks.

Harper Valley PTA, Jeannie C. Riley

Harper Valley PTA, Jeannie C. Riley

Song Year: 1968

Jeannie C. Riley was the first female to hit the Billboard Hot 100 and the US Hot Country Singles based on the same song, but not at the same time. It took ten years for another lady to do it again, and that was Dolly Parton with 9 to 5. Unfortunately, Harper Valley PTA was Riley’s only pop hit.

Wichita Lineman, Glen Campbell

Song Year: 1968

Glen Campbell released the album, Wichita Lineman with the title track, reaching number three on the charts. The song was written by Jimmy Webb, who wanted to share a story about a blue-collar worker with a deep emotional connection to immense feelings while living a lonely, solitary life, working on the phone lines while other people connected to one another. In 2019, Wichita Lineman was chosen by the Library of Congress to preserve the song in the National Recording Registry.

He’ll Have to Go, Jim Reeves

Song Year: 1960

Jim Reeves was the second artist to record He’ll Have to Go. The song hit number two on Billboard Top 100, number one on the country charts, and number 13 on the R&B charts.

The soulful song tells the story of a man on the phone who is in love with the woman on the other end while she’s in a room with another man. For over two minutes, the man says sweet things to convince ‘her’ that he’s the man for her.

Walk On By, Leroy Van Dyke

Song Year: 1961

Walk On By spent a staggering 37 weeks on the charts. It broke records, sitting at number one for 19 weeks. It held the reign for 51 years until 2013 when Florida Georgia Line hit 20 weeks, and then, again, in 2017 when they went 50 weeks for a duet with Bebe Rexha.

There Goes My Everything, Jack Greene

Song Year: 1967

There Goes My Everything was written by Dallas Frazier and performed by several artists. Jack Greene’s recorded version is the most popular, winning several CMT awards, including Album, Single, and Song of the Year. Greene also won Male Vocalist of the Year. The song tells the sad story of a couple splitting up, but the man confesses that he didn’t realize what he had until it was over.

Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town, Kenny Rogers

Song Year: 1969

Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town was written by Mel Tillis and recorded by several artists over the years. Kenny Rogers released the first edition, which went to number two in the UK. Rogers re-recorded the song about eight years later, telling the tale about a paralyzed veteran from WWII who is married to Ruby. Ruby, however, takes her love elsewhere instead of caring for him. The vet is torn between hurt and anger over Ruby’s indiscretions. 

The End of the World, Skeeter Davis

Song Year: 1963

The End of the World by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee for Skeeter Davis, went to the Top 5 of four different charts, including reaching number two on Billboard’s Top 100.

The ditty is a sad tale of a post-breakup. The song was played at Davis’s own funeral. After that, the somber hit made its way into many movies and television, most recently being a covered version in the Netflix original series, The Queen’s Gambit.

Are You Lonesome Tonight, Elvis Presley

Song Year: 1960

Initially written in 1926, Colonel Tom Parker convinced Elvis Presley, after returning from military service, to record his wife’s, Marie Mott’s, favorite song. Even though RCA Victor thought it was the wrong sound for Elvis, Are You Lonesome Tonight became a major hit across the genres, reaching number three on the R&B charts within a month. Skipping ahead, Presley’s version of Are You Lonesome Tonight was certified Gold in 1983 and reached 2x Platinum in 1992.

D-I-V-O-R-C-E, Tammy Wynette

Song Year: 1968

Tammy Wynette was the voice of women in Country Music, singing about women’s issues and empowerment. D-I-V-O-R-C-E is a song that uses the parental trick of spelling out words to keep things from children’s ears. The cute yet, hard-hitting song of a dissolution of marriage was a major hit for Wynette, reaching number one and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Country Female Vocal Performance. 

Aching, Breaking Heart, George Jones

Song Year: 1961

George Jones recorded Aching, Breaking Heart as his last single for Mercury Records. The song went to number five on the country charts. United Artists scooped up Jones when his contract with Mercury ran out. Years later, Mercury said they lost Jones before he dominated the charts. 

Crazy, Patsy Cline

Song Year: 1961

The song Crazy was written by Willie Nelson and is probably the most well-known song sung by Patsy Cline. Cline recorded the song two years before her untimely death in 1963. The song was an instant hit, reaching number two on the country charts, and rested within the Top 10 as a crossover song. In 2003, Crazy was inducted into National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. As the years continue, Crazy continuously hits the list of being one of the Greatest Country Songs of All-Time.

A Boy Named Sue, Johnny Cash

Song Year: 1969

A Boy Named Sue was written by children's author and poet Shel Silverstein. June Carter Cash was the one who convinced Johnny Cash to cover Silverstein’s song, which Cash did live on his At San Quentin album. It was Cash’s biggest hit, reaching number two on the charts and lasting three weeks. 

These Boots Are Made For Walking, Nancy Sinatra

Song Year: 1966

These Boots Are Made For Walking was covered by various artists in a multitude of genres, from Megadeth to Jessica Simpson. Nancy Sinatra’s version charted as number one in the US and UK. Sinatra made a promotional video wearing red leather boots. This promo would later be played as a music video on VH1 in 1986. The song was used in many films and television shows over the years. Most surprisingly, it was used as a soundtrack moment during the real-life deadlock between the FBI and David Koresh in 1993’s Waco Standoff.

Son of a Preacher Man, Dusty Springfield

Song Year: 1968

Dusty Springfield is a British singer who hit #10 on the US charts with the crossover song Son of a Preacher Man. In 1994, the song hit new popularity when it was featured on the Pulp Fiction Soundtrack. The music was used in the simple scene where Vincent picks up Mia for their night of dinner and dancing. It may be a small scene in the movie, but filmmaker Quentin Tarantino said that he wouldn’t have recorded that scene in the film if he hadn’t gotten permission to use the song. 

Top 60s Country Songs, Final Thoughts

There you have it. These top country songs of the 60s still impact the charts and playlists today. These songs have created a solid base for today’s artists to provide genre-crossing sounds while maintaining that classic country foundation. There are so many incredible Country singles from the 60s, but it's no surprise that Johnny, Patsy, Elvis, and Glen's hits continue to make their way back onto the charts all these decades later.

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