The Top Country Music Songs of All Time

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

A list of the top country music songs of all time according to various music experts and publications.


If there’s one thing that’s truly American, it’s country music. The unique genre has been around for centuries and has evolved significantly over time. From heartwarming ballads to upbeat anthems, there’s a country song for every mood.

To compile our list of the top country songs of all time, we took a poll of some of Country Music’s biggest fans. We asked them to vote for their favorite songs, and they did not disappoint. From classics like “Your Cheatin’ Heart” to modern hits like “Little Big Town,” these are the songs that made the cut.

The Top Ten Country Songs of All Time

If you are a fan of country music, then you have come to the right place. This list contains some of the greatest country songs of all time. From heart-wrenching ballads to upbeat anthems, these songs have it all. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

“I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” was originally released as a single in 1992. The song was written by Dolly Parton and released on the soundtrack for the film The Bodyguard. The song became a hit, topping the charts in multiple countries. In the United States, the song spent fourteen weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song has been certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold over four million copies in the United States.

“Stand by Me” by Ben E. King

“Stand by Me” is a song originally performed by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King, written by King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The song was released on Atlantic Records’ subsidiary Atco label in September 1961. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and number four on the UK Singles Chart in 1962. In 1986, the song was selected as one of the Songs of the Century. In 2012 it was ranked at number 122 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list, and at number two on Billboard’s all-time Hot 100 songs list.

The original version was written by Leiber and Stoller for The Drifters, who passed on it; Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler convinced King to record it himself and added a new verse to the song that alluded to King’s background singing gospel music with his friends (the “Moments of glory” line).

King had trouble convincing the Atlantic Records executives to release his version as a single so he took matters into his own hands and released it as an “answer” to Percy Sledge’s hit “When a Man Loves a Woman”, which was also climbing up the charts at the time. It turned out to be an inspired choice: “Stand by Me” spent three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1961, becoming one of only three chart-toppers for King (the others being “Spanish Harlem” in 1960 and 1983’s collaboration with Grandmaster Flash, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”).

“Crazy” by Patsy Cline

“Crazy” is a ballad composed by Willie Nelson. It was first recorded by Patsy Cline in 1961, and later by Nelson himself in 1969 and 1981. Cline’s version topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart posthumously in 1968, making it one of her biggest hits. The song has been recorded by numerous artists, including Linda Ronstadt and Wynonna Judd. “Crazy” is considered one of the greatest country songs of all time and is also on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The song tells the story of a heartbroken woman who is trying to get over her lover who has left her. Nelson originally wrote the song for his friend Billy Sherrill, but Sherrill did not like it and gave it to Cline. Cline made some changes to the lyrics and recorded it with Owen Bradley, who also worked with her on “Walkin’ After Midnight”.

After Cline’s death, the song became one of her signature hits and helped launch Nelson’s career. It has been covered by many artists, including Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Wynonna Judd, and George Strait.

“I Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash

I Walk the Line is a classic country song written and performed by the one and only Johnny Cash. The songwas released in 1956 and topped the country charts for six weeks. It has since been covered by many artists and has become one of the most iconic country songs of all time.

“Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams

“Your Cheatin’ Heart” is a song written by Hank Williams that was first recorded in 1952. The song was released as a single in January 1953, and became one of Williams’ most successful singles. It peaked at number one on the Billboard country chart for seven weeks, and spent a total of thirty-nine weeks on the chart. The song also became a crossover hit, reaching number 27 on the Billboard pop chart.

The success of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” helped launch Williams’ career, and he became one of the most popular country music artists of all time. The song has been covered by many artists, including Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, and George Jones.

“Jolene” by Dolly Parton

“Jolene” is a song written and performed by American country music artist Dolly Parton. It was released on October 15, 1973, as the first single and title track from her album of the same name, produced by Bob Johnston. The song was ranked No. 217 on CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music in 2003 and #91 on Billboard’s Greatest Songs of the Century in 2000.

Parton has said that the song was inspired by a red-headed bank clerk who flirted with her husband Carl Dean at a local bank they regularly visited. Jolene is a given name of Welsh origin meaning “dove”. According to Parton, the redhead in question was “the prettiest woman [she’d] ever seen.”

In a 2017 BBC Radio 2 interview, Parton revealed that Jolene is based on a real person: “I wrote it about a girl that was working at a bank where [my husband] went to cash his checks… I think her name really was Jolene,” she said. “She had this pretty red hair…and everybody that he talked to – all the men – they all flocked around her because she was so beautiful.”

“Coal Miner’s Daughter” by Loretta Lynn

“Coal Miner’s Daughter” is a song written by Loretta Lynn and Doo Wop. It was released on Lynn’s album of the same name in 1971, and tells the story of Lynn’s upbringing in a poor family in Butcher Holler, a mining community near Van Lear, Kentucky. The song became Lynn’s signature tune, and one of the most iconic country songs of all time. It was also ranked as the greatest country song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2015.

“The Wanderer” by Dion

“The Wanderer” is a song written by Ernie Maresca and originally recorded by Dion. It was released in December 1961 as a single (Fawley 108) by Dion and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the spring of 1962, kept from the top spot by “Peppermint Twist” by Joey Dee and the Starliters. The song ranked No. 400 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones

“He Stopped Loving Her Today” is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist George Jones. It was released in April 1980 as the lead single from his album I Am What I Am. The song was written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman, and produced by Billy Sherrill.

“He Stopped Loving Her Today” is widely considered to be one of the greatest country songs of all time. George Jones himself considered it his greatest recording, and it is credited with helping to revive his career during a low point in the late 1970s. The song won both the Grammy Award for Best Country Song and the Country Music Association Award for Single of the Year in 1981. It is ranked at Number One on CMT’s list of the 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music, and was inducted into both the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 2000, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” was voted by members of the Country Music Association as “The Greatest Country Song of All Time.”

“I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack

“I Hope You Dance” is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Lee Ann Womack. The song was released in May 2000 as the lead single from her second studio album, I Hope You Dance. It became a crossover hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart and crossed over to pop radio, peaking at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.


After careful consideration of all the great country songs out there, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the top 100 country songs of all time. These are the songs that have moved us, that have created memories, and that have helped shape country music into what it is today. We hope you enjoy our list.

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