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,


Take a trip down memory lane with our collection of the best country songs from the 1970s. From classics like Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” to more modern hits like Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” these are the tracks that defined a decade.


70s country music was a time when the genre was truly coming into its own. This was the decade that saw the rise of some of country music’s most iconic artists, including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Loretta Lynn. It was also a decade that saw the genre begin to experiment with new sounds and styles, resulting in some truly groundbreaking Country albums.

Here are some of the best 70s Country albums that you need to check out:

-Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger (1975)
-Dolly Parton – Pure & Simple (1971)
-Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose (2004)
-The Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968)
-Gram Parsons – GP (1973)

The Outlaws

The Outlaws are an American southern rock/country rock band formed in Tampa, Florida in 1972 by guitarist and vocalist Hughie Thomasson, guitarist Barry Owen, bassist Frank O’Keefe, keyboardist Billy Jones and drummer David Dix. The band’s current lineup consists of Thomasson, keyboardist/vocalist Monroe Gratz, bassist/vocalist Fred Edwards, lead vocalist/guitarist Henry Paul and drummer David Dix.

The Outlaws are best known for their hits “There Goes Another Love Song”, “Green Grass and High Tides”, and “Ghost Riders in the Sky”, as well as their association with Lynyrd Skynyrd; the two bands toured together early in their careers. The Outlaws have released twelve studio albums, six compilations and two live albums. They achieved eight gold or platinum certifications, and were inducted into the Florida Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is an American country singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, and actor. He reached his greatest fame during the outlaw country movement of the 1970s, but remains iconic through his work today.

Nelson was born in Texas in 1933, and he began his musical career in the 1950s as a singer in honky-tonks. He wrote his first song, “Family Bible,” in 1960 and released his debut album four years later. In 1966, he had his first major hit with “Crazy.”

Nelson’s career took off in the 1970s with a series of hit albums and singles. He collaborated with fellow country artist Waylon Jennings on the albums “Shotgun Willie” (1972) and “The Outlaws” (1976), which helped to define the outlaw country movement. Other notable albums from this period include “Red Headed Stranger” (1975) and “Stardust” (1978).

Nelson has continued to release new music throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. He has also acted in films and television shows, including playing himself on an episode of “The Simpsons.” In 2015, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Willie Nelson is one of the most important and influential figures in country music history. His work has spanned multiple decades and genres, making him an enduring icon in the world of music.

Waylon Jennings

Waylon Jennings is an American country music singer, songwriter, and musician. He is best known for his contributions to the Outlaw Movement country music wave of the 1970s. He recorded sixty albums during his lifetime, fifteen of which have been certified Gold or higher by the RIAA.

Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson is an American country music singer-songwriter, actor and musician. Kristofferson composed his own songs and collaborated with Nashville songwriters such as Shel Silverstein. In 1985, he co-wrote the country standard “Why Me” with Johnny Cash. Kristofferson’s hits include “Me and Bobby McGee”, “For the Good Times”, “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”, and “Help Me Make It Through the Night”. He is known for his roles in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Blade and A Star Is Born.

Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas, to Mary Ann (née Ashbrook) and Lars Henry Kristofferson, a U.S. Army Air Corps officer who later became a career diplomat with the U.S. State Department. His paternal grandparents emigrated from Sweden, while his maternal grandfather was of English descent. Kristofferson’s paternal grandfather was an officer in the Swedish Army; when he retired, he moved to Munich, Germany, where he worked as a mechanic at an air base. His paternal grandmother was German-American; she emigrated with her parents from Sweden to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


The 1970s was a defining decade for country music. With the advent of pop-influenced country music, the genre underwent a major transformation that would lay the foundation for its future success. Notable artists such as Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton helped to lead the way, and their contributions continue to be felt today. Thanks to their innovative and boundary-pushing music, the 1970s remain one of the most influential periods in country music history.

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