Do we go back to the 'beginning' and say Jimmie Rodgers?
Is it Patsy Montana, with her yodel? How about Hank's?
The soulful angst of Gram Parsons or the friendly crooning of Gene Autry?
The grit of Waylon Jennings, Jason Ringenberg, or Johnny Cash?
The quiet introspection of Guy Clark or Townes Van Zandt?
The sweet harmonies of the Louvin Brothers or the Dixie Chicks?
How about George Jones, Tex Ritter, Dolly Parton, or Jeff Tweedy?
What do you think, and why?
waylon was,is and will always be the Best voice of country!
All of this great input. BUT...to answer the original question and the original post, there really isn't a doubt in my mind. It's Waylon. There are around 30 ties for second place, but Waylon is #1. IMO of course ;)
Conway Twitty. "Hello Darlin'" Gets me every time.
Impossible to narrow down to one, because there are so many who are all incredible for different reasons. In country, some of my favorite men are Johnny Cash, Buddy Miller, Graham Parsons, Web Pierce, Dwight Yoakham, The Louvins, The Everlys, and (smile) Willie Nelson. I smile because I know some folks who think he can't sing at all!! Some of my favorite female country voices are Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, KD Lang, Neko Case, Iris DeMent,Wanda Jackson, Allison Krauss, Elizabeth Cook and Emmylou Harris. There are also some amazing singers who are not even considered to be country so i'll put them in the handy Americana bag (I must mention them because these voices move me profoundly every time and often in the same breath as all the country music I love): Richard Thompson, Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Gillian Welch, Loudon Wainright, John Hiatt, Joe Ely, Townes Van Zandt, Ray Davies, John Doe, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, Guy Clark, Ray LaMontagne, Adele, Brenda Lee, and Ronnie Dawson (esp. before his voice changed and he was performing as The Blonde Bomber!!)...seriously, it's such a difficult question. Most of the singers I love the best are untrained hooligans and we are all the better for it.
Graham Parsons ? Never heard of him.
Yeah sorry. Got my Grams and my Grahams crossed. Smack me down, take me to the desert and light me on fire.
Merle Haggard in my opinion. Listen to "Kern River". You may not nknow anything about the Kern River but when Merle sings about it you can hear and feel it. Immediately you are there. the song is non descriptive but the vibrato and the pain in the voice paint a picture. Its the dynamics in his voice, the extra low note, the change from soft to powerful to enforce a lyric etc. I dont normally chat or reply but maybe you will check out some old Merle haggard tunes for it.
Good call Matt.
I got into Merle after hearing the Dave Alvin/Tom Russell -helmed tribute album Tulare Dust. Well worth tracking down.