Ever find yourself longing for the classic sound of country music from the 60s? We understand entirely; there's just something unique about the melodies and lyrics from that era.
In this blog, we've compiled a list of some outstanding male and female country artists who defined this golden age of country music, including legends like Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Dolly Parton. These are the best country singers of the 60s.
1. Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash, a legendary country singer and songwriter, is undoubtedly one of the most iconic figures in American music history. With over 90 million records sold worldwide, he has left an indelible mark on the country music industry.
Known as “The Man in Black,” Cash's deep voice and heartfelt lyrics resonated with audiences across generations. Cash formed close friendships with fellow country stars like Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Faron Young throughout his career. Together, they created a tight-knit community within the music industry.
Cash often toured with his influential road troupe during the late 1960s and 1970s, and 1980s.
Johnny Cash's ability to push boundaries within the country and Western music set him apart. His innovative sound paved the way for new styles and allowed future artists to experiment with their unique sounds.
2. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton is an iconic country singer and songwriter from the 60s. She has achieved incredible success in the music industry, winning multiple Grammy Awards and People's Choice Awards throughout her career.
Dolly Parton's talent and popularity have earned her titles such as Entertainer of the Year and Top Country Female Artist. She holds the impressive distinction of being Billboard's All-Time Top Female Country Artist.
What sets Dolly Parton apart is her ability to consistently produce chart-topping hits, making her the only woman to achieve number-one records in three different decades. Her musical legacy continues to inspire fans and fellow musicians alike.
Dolly Parton's contributions to country music go far beyond just singing – she is also a gifted songwriter. Her songs have become timeless classics, showcasing her storytelling ability and emotional depth.
With her unique voice and captivating stage presence, Dolly Parton has left an indelible mark on the genre that will forever be cherished by music lovers worldwide.
3. Sara Carter
Sara Carter was a pivotal figure in folk and country music, and part of the historic Carter Family. Born in Southwest Virginia in 1898, she grew to timelessly showcase her deep and distinctive voice.
This voice carved a path for her into musical acclaim and garnered widespread affection from fans across Appalachia.
Many will know Sara wasn't a solo performer all through; she had company on stage – Maybelle and Madge Addington were Sara's cousins and fellow musicians. Their artistic synergy created rich Appalachian tunes infused with heartfelt lyrics, leaving a lasting impact on the genre of country music.
The trio’s impeccable harmony is integral to the Carter Family's illustrious legacy. As both musician and songwriter, Sara brought us some unforgettable melodies within folk music that reverberate even now. Her unique vocal quality resonated deeply among listeners, making every song feel like a personal story from her heart to ours.
From folk anthems to iconic ballads, this masterful singer-songwriter showcased authentic Appalachian spirit through every note she sang.
4. Patsy Cline
Patsy Cline, born Virginia Patterson Hensley, ignited the music industry as one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century. The world took notice not just because she was terrific at country; she successfully crossed over into pop music too.
This achievement helped propel her to icon status during her short but impactful career.
Tragedy struck in 1963 when Patsy Cline died at thirty, marking an untimely end to a blossoming legacy. However, this did not dim her star.
She remains an active presence in our hearts and radios today as one of the most popular female country singers in recording history. Her exceptional talents and influence continue to inspire generations of musicians across genres.
5. Conway Twitty
Conway Twitty, also known as Harold Lloyd Jenkins, was a renowned American singer and songwriter in the country music genre. With his unique blend of rockabilly and country sound, he carved out a successful career that left an indelible mark on the industry.
Throughout his impressive journey, Conway Twitty reached the top spot on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart 40 times. His contributions to country music are nothing short of legendary, making him a true icon in the field.
Fans continue to celebrate his timeless hits and appreciate the incredible talent that Conway Twitty brought to the stage.
6. Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard was an influential country music artist in the 1960s. He was known for his versatile style and ability to incorporate different musical genres into his repertoire. Considered one of the most essential singer-songwriters in country music history, Haggard emerged as a leading figure in the industry during this time.
Inspired by Johnny Cash, he pursued a singing career that significantly impacted the genre. Haggard's unique perspective and storytelling abilities earned him the nickname “Poet of the Common Man.”.
7. Tammy Wynette
Tammy Wynette was a highly influential and successful country music singer during the 60s. Her emotional delivery and unique tearful voice captivated the hearts of many, especially women.
She made her breakthrough in the music industry alongside her close friend Dolly Parton during this era. Tammy Wynette's vulnerability and relatable lyrics set her apart as one of the top female country singers of that time.
Despite her success, Tammy Wynette faced personal struggles throughout her life. She had five marriages and often played the role of a tragic heroine in her songs and public image. Tammy Wynette's impact on country music cannot be overstated. Her passionate performances touched millions, making her an unforgettable figure in the genre's history.
8. Roger Miller
Roger Miller was a multi-talented country singer and songwriter. He sang and played the guitar, fiddle, and drums. In addition to his musical talents, he succeeded in television and on Broadway.
Known for his honky-tonk style and novelty songs, Miller had a significant impact on country music in the 60s. He won five Grammy Awards in 1964 alone! One of his most famous hits was “Me and Bobbie McGee,” which he recorded before it became an iconic song thanks to Kris Kristofferson's rendition.
With catchy tunes like “Walking on Sunshine” and “Green Apples,” Miller made a lasting mark on the country music scene.
9. Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell was a talented country singer and musician who rose to fame in the late 1960s and 1970s. He became known for his hit songs, including the famous “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Alongside Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers, Campbell was part of a wave of country crossover stars who succeeded on both the country and pop charts.
His career spanned over fifty years, during which he produced numerous chart-topping hits and captivated audiences with his smooth vocals and heartfelt performances. Unfortunately in 2011, Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, but his impact on country music will never be forgotten.