The Best of 70s Country Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for a taste of the best country music from the 1970s? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here we’ll explore some of the top tunes from the decade, including classics from the likes of Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, and more.


During the 1970s, country music underwent a major transformation. After years of domination by the “Nashville sound” and pop-oriented artists, a new generation of country singers emerged who rejected the polished production values and Cyrus’ vision in favor of a more traditional approach. This “outlaw” movement was spearheaded by such artists as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash, who created a gritty, uncompromising brand of country that appealed to fans who felt alienated by the polished sounds of the Nashville establishment.

The Outlaws

The Outlaws are a country rock band most popular in the 1970s. They were founded in Tampa, Florida in 1966 by lead singer and guitarist Hughie Thomasson andFred Gowdy. The Outlaws’ first album, The Outlaws, was released in 1975 and featured their hit single “There Goes Another Love Song”. The Outlaws’ second album, Hole in the Wall, was released in 1977 and featured the hit single “Green Grass and High Tides”.

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is an American country music singer-songwriter, actor, and activist. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed in the late 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-written songs for other artists, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.

Waylon Jennings

One of the most influential country music artists of the 1970s was Waylon Jennings. He was a member of the Outlaw Country movement, which challenged the conservative Nashville sound that dominated country music at the time.

Jennings was known for his distinctive voice and his rebellious attitude. He had several hits throughout the decade, including “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love),” “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way,” and “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”

Jennings was also a skilled songwriter, and he wrote or co-wrote many of his own songs. He often collaborated with fellow Outlaw Country artist Willie Nelson, and the two had a number ofhit duets together, including “Good Hearted Woman” and “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”

Waylon Jennings was a key figure in country music in the 1970s, and he helped to define the Outlaw Country sound. He was a talented singer and songwriter who had numerous hits throughout the decade.

Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson is one of the most respected and beloved singers of his generation. A celebrated songwriter, actor, and musician, Kristofferson’s career has spanned nearly five decades. His songs have been recorded by some of the biggest names in music, including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin, and Barbra Streisand. Kristofferson’s 1970 hit “Me and Bobby McGee” became a No. 1 single for both Joplin and Nelson.

Kristofferson was born in Texas in 1936. He attended Pomona College in California before joining the U.S. Army in 1958. After his military service, Kristofferson attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. He left Oxford early to pursue a career in music in Nashville, Tennessee.

Kristofferson’s songs typically deal with themes of love, loss, and redemption. His unique blend of country, folk, rock, and blues has made him one of the most popular and influential singer-songwriters of his generation.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known primarily for her work in country music. After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Parton made her album debut with Hello, I’m Dolly in 1967. With steady success during the remainder of the 1960s (both as a solo artist and with a series of duet albums with Porter Wagoner), her sales and chart peak came during the 1970s and continued into the 1980s. Parton’s albums in the 1990s sold less well, but she achieved commercial success again in the new millennium and has released albums on various independent labels since 2000.


And that’s a wrap on the best of 70s country music! We hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Did your favorite song make the list? Let us know in the comments below. And if you’re in the mood for more, be sure to check out our other lists of the best country music from different decades.

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