Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

Looking Back To The Top 10 Country Songs Of The 1970s

TOP 10 COUNTRY SONGS OF THE 1970s
by

The 1970s stood out as a fantastic era for country music. During this time, icons like Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and Glen Campbell reached the peaks of their careers. As a result, many songs from that decade have stood strong over time and continue to be among the most frequently played in the country genre.

So, today, we will explore the top songs from this decade. It can be a delightful way to remember the past and recognize which tunes still resonate in today’s media. Dive in to discover ten of the greatest country songs from that era.

1. I Will Always Love You

From: Dolly Parton’s Jolene (1974)

Dolly Parton originally wrote and performed “I Will Always Love You” to say goodbye to her then-singing partner, Porter Wagoner. The song became one of the most iconic hits in her illustrious career. In fact, it ranked No. 1 on the charts twice. First when she initially released it and then again when she recorded it for the 1982 musical comedy film, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Truly, its simple yet deeply moving lyrics resonated with countless listeners.

2. The Gambler

From: Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler (1978)

Renowned Nashville songwriter Don Schlitz wrote “The Gambler” in 1976. It was recorded by several artists, including Bobby Bare, Johnny Cash, and even Schlitz himself. 

However, it was Kenny Rogers who propelled the song to mainstream success.

Rogers’ version reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. It even reached the top of the pop charts during a period when country music didn’t usually cross over outside its own genre. It also won Best Male Country Vocal Performance during the 1980 Grammy Award. 

3. Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys

From: Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s Waylon & Willie (1978)

The song, which warns mothers not to let their children pursue a cowboy’s life due to its challenging and unstable nature, was first recorded by country singer Ed Bruce. Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson later covered “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” as a duet.

This version reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, spending four weeks atop. In 1979, it won Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the Grammy Awards.

4. Rhinestone Cowboy

From: Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy (1975)

In 1974, songwriter and musician Larry Weiss wrote and recorded “Rhinestone Cowboy.” However, it wasn’t commercially successful. 

Later that year, Glen Campbell caught wind of the song on the radio during his tour in Australia. Upon returning to the US, Campbell recorded his own version, which quickly gained immense popularity among both country and pop music fans – ranking No. 1 both on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and Billboard Hot 100.

5. Thank God I’m a Country Boy

From: John Denver’s Back Home Again (1974)

John Martin Sommers wrote “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” for John Denver and was included in Denver’s 1974 album Back Home Again

However, it wasn’t until a live performance was featured on Denver’s 1975 concert album, An Evening With John Denver, that the song gained widespread acclaim, reaching the top spot on both the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and Billboard Hot 100. Its immense success led Denver to host a TV variety show with the same name in 1977.

6. Take This Job and Shove It

From: Johnny Paycheck’s Take This Job and Shove It (1977)

Johnny Paycheck paid tribute to the working men in “Take This Job and Shove It,” which tells the story of a man working hard at a job for a long time without little to no recognition. The song became instantly relatable for every working person. Its title even became a popular phrase.

7. The Devil Went Down to Georgia

From: Charlie Daniels Band’s Million Mile Reflections (1979)

There’s a little fiddle tune that’s as irresistible as “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” – it’s no surprise it became Charlie Daniels Band’s most identifiable and most career-defining hit. 

The uptempo song puts a country spin on an old theme of a musician meeting a Devil at a crossroads. “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” tells the story of the Devil, who failed to take a young man’s soul via a fiddle-playing contest.

8. Coal Miner’s Daughter

From: Loretta Lynn’s Coal Miner’s Daughter (1970)

Considered Loretta Lynn’s signature song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” finds the singer-songwriter reminiscing about her day-to-day life (including childhood experiences and hardships) while growing up in rural poverty in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky. Lynn recounted how her father worked as a farmer growing corn while her mother worked tirelessly doing household chores.

Since then, the autobiographical song has been covered several times. In 2001, it was named one of RIAA’s Songs of the Century.

9. Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pnp5HR751w&pp=ygUgRG9uJ3QgSXQgTWFrZSBNeSBCcm93biBFeWVzIEJsdWU%3D

From: Crystal Gayle’s We Must Believe in Magic (1977)

This song was the sequel to “I’ve Cried the Blue Right Out Of My Eyes,” which was penned by Crystal Gayle’s elder sister, Loretta Lynn. The song quickly became a worldwide hit single, and a massive crossover hit for Gayle, making her famous outside the world of country music. It also opened many doors for Gayle, such as several TV appearances. 

10. Rocky Mountain High

From: John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High (1972)

This song is an immensely popular country song that has enchanted music fans for many years. In fact, it became an unofficial anthem for Colorado. In 2007, the Colorado General Assembly named it one of its two official state songs.

Denver wrote the song with his move to Aspen, Colorado, being its inspiration. Interestingly, Denver revealed during a concert that it took him an unusually long nine months to finish the song.

There you have it – the top 10 country songs of the 1970s! So, which of these amazing tracks stood out to you the most?

Latest Stories

Watch George Jones as He Pays Tribute To Conway Twitty With "Hello Darlin'"

George Jones Honors Conway Twitty with Powerful Rendition of ‘Hello Darlin’

Days after the world lost the legendary Conway Twitty, another country legend paid tribute to the late singer with an emotional rendition of his iconic “Hello Darlin’,” and it’s none ...

Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” Says Alcohol Can’t Heal Wounds

Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” Says Alcohol Can’t Heal Wounds

Still not feeling numb after five drinks? If you’re trying to move on from a heartbreak, we hate to break it to you, but Merle Haggard’s lyrics in “Tonight the ...

5 Ashley Cooke Facts You Need to Know

5 Ashley Cooke Facts You Need to Know

On the road to becoming a country breakout star, Ashley Cooke is an up-and-coming artist who is known for her smash hit “Your Place” in 2023. She brings down-to-earth vibes ...

Huercasa Country Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Huercasa Country Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Huercasa Country Festival 2024Festival Duration: July 5-7, 2024Venue: Las Delicias Municipal Soccer Field in Riaza, Segovia, SpainPerformers Include: Kaitlin Butts,  Myron Elkins, A Thousand Horses, The Wonder Women ...

Under The Big Sky 2024: What You Need To Know

Under The Big Sky 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Under The Big Sky 2024Festival Duration:July 12-14, 2024Venue:Big Mountain Ranch in Whitefish, MontanaPerformers Include:Billy Strings, Miranda Lambert, Turnpike Troubadours, and moreTicket Information: Get Your Tickets Here It’s that time ...

Country Jam USA 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Jam USA 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Jam USA 2024Festival Duration: July 18-20, 2024Venue:Eau Claire Event District in Eau Claire, WisconsinPerformers Include:HARDY, Brothers Osborne, Thomas Rhett, and moreTicket Information:Ticket Information: Get Your Tickets Here ...

Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024Festival Duration:July 11-14, 2024Venue:Craven World Campground in Craven, Saskatchewan, CanadaPerformers Include:Luke Combs, Nickelback, Dallas Smith, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here Country Thunder Saskatchewan is ...

Windy City Smokeout 2024: What You Need To Know

Windy City Smokeout 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Windy City Smokeout 2024Festival Duration: July 11-14, 2024Venue: United Centre Parking Lot in Chicago, IllinoisPerformers Include: Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum, Cody Johnson, Carrie Underwood, and moreTicket Information: Get ...

Over 100,000 Fans Join George Strait As He Sang “Amarillo by Morning”

Over 100,000 Fans Join George Strait As He Sang “Amarillo by Morning”

George Strait bested both his indoor and outdoor record – and the fifty-year record of the largest attendance in the US – at his annual series of one-off performances during ...

Country Concert 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Concert 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Concert 2024Festival Duration: July 11-13, 2024Venue: Hickory Hill Lakes in Fort Laramie, OhioPerformers Include:Cody Johnson, Lainey Wilson, HARDY, and moreTicket Information: Get Your Tickets Here The Midwest’s ...