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Top 10 Country Songwriters of All Time

10. Lefty Frizzell

He is known as a honky-tonk singer and a great songwriter. Following the era of Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell was one of the few country artists of the old that had a great influence on great country legends like George Jones, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. According to some country music blogs, he straightened honky-tonk music during his prime in the ‘50s. Country music wouldn’t be country music without his hits like “If You Got the Money (I’ve Got The Time).”

9.Roy Acuff 

One of the legends of country music and once called the “King of Country Music.” Throughout his career, his contributions in the country music industry can never be equaled. Not only his singing but also his songwriting, made sure that other songwriters got what they deserved in the recording process. His legacy is one of the pillars of songwriting in country music.

8. Dolly Parton

Now, who doesn’t know the sweet Dolly Parton? Everybody loves Dolly Parton. Her songs are not only about romance and heartbreak, she also sings hymns for God. Some artists, like her did not only write wonderful songs for herself but also for other great artists. Along with her name is a contribution of 3000 songs. Where would Whitney Houston be without Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You?”

7. Guy Clark

For some songwriters in country music, this man is on the top of their list when talking about the best. There are different styles in writing a song but the craft of Guy Clark is one of the most unique and only a few can imitate his style. He might not be that popular to modern fans but to country music, his influence and work is an essential.

6. “The Hag” Merle Haggard

Based on another country music blog, Merle Haggard is one of the greatest country artists of all time. Through his career, he kept on improving his art. He once said, “Songwriting gets harder and harder, unless you just want to try to write a better version of what you’ve already done.” From this statement alone, you can already feel his dedication and love in songwriting and music. Together with Buck Owens, he helped the Bakersfield sound to be recognized. Others think that his art is already done but his hits are still out there and keeps on going.

5. Townes Van Zandt

In other country music blogs, he is the best songwriter and the true sound of country music. Hell, even Steve Earle thinks he’s better than Bob Dylan saying, “Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the world and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.” He is known for his poetic and heroic sad songs. Zandt’s true talent is touching people’s hearts making them emotional and only he can do that. He might be long gone, but not forgotten.

4. Kris Kristofferson

One of the four “Highwaymen” of the outlaw country music. Kris Kristofferson was not only a musician but the master of songwriting. This man is well known in the country music industry because of him helping a lot of artists, not only singers but also songwriters. He was the one who revolutionized songwriting in country music during the 1970s and made everybody work harder to meet the standards he set.

3. The “Oklahoma Cowboy” Woody Guthrie

The legendary songwriter Woodrow Wilson Guthrie. Without this brilliant songwriter, the legacy of songwriting would not exist. He was one of those who molded songwriting and he made this legacy by winning the countryside themed songs at the heart of country music.

2. “The Outlaw” Willie Nelson

This weed smoking country artist spent more than 60 years entertaining us. Not only that, but his songwriting skills still remains! Only Willie Nelson can do that. The Redheaded Stranger started by selling a song for just twenty dollars to buy his family some bread. Then, he wrote songs for Faron Young and Patsy Cline. Thereafter, he became one of the songwriters on the first platinum record in country music! There is no arguing, nobody can be at par with Willie Nelson.

1. “The Hillbilly Shakespeare” Hank Williams

The most brilliant country artist of all time. Even though Jimmie Rodgers is the father of country music, this man might be higher if not equal. He is the true definition of country music. This man developed a habit of constantly writing down ideas in napkins, hotel stationery and even receipts. During his short career, he wrote more than a hundred songs. A lot of his self-written songs are still being covered up to now. In addition, most of them reached the No. 1 spot in the country music charts.


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