1970s country music heartbreak
September 29, 2018 3:39 PM   Subscribe

1970s US country music. Point me towards your night laments and broken hearts - well known welcome, but deep cuts readily received.
posted by paleyellowwithorange to Media & Arts (54 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
"night laments and broken hearts"... that's most of country music. What's an example of the kind of song you're seeking?

For instance, 8 country breakup songs or 20 sad country songs that will make you cry
posted by blob at 4:15 PM on September 29, 2018


Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell
posted by FencingGal at 4:33 PM on September 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


Nobody sounds more lonely than Charlie Feathers. Nobody.
posted by q*ben at 4:33 PM on September 29, 2018


And there’s always George Jones. Tho I always want the other side of this story.
posted by q*ben at 4:36 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Dolly Parton (1971), "My Blue Tears (Acoustic Demo)"
posted by Wobbuffet at 4:43 PM on September 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain, Willie Nelson.
posted by MysteriousSympathy at 4:58 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Loretta Lynn - “Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” and for a different kind of heartbreak "Coal Miner's Daughter"

Tammy Wynette - “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”

Emmylou Harris - "If I Could Only Win Your Love"

It's from 1982 but I can't not mention by favorite sad song - Dolly's "Hard Candy Christmas"
posted by cessair at 5:04 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Willie Nelson - Whiskey River
posted by saladin at 5:05 PM on September 29, 2018


Only the 70s? I know a bunch more stuff from the 60s, but I don't know if that's a different sound than what you're after.

Johnny Paycheck, Ride On Sonny (from the soundtrack to the movie Hell's Angels Forever)

Vernon Oxford, Your Wanting Me Is Gone

Kenny Knight, All My Memories (1980 is technically part of the 70s, right?)
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:06 PM on September 29, 2018


Can't believe I'm the first to mention Heart of Gold by Neil Young.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:10 PM on September 29, 2018


Also, lots and lots of Johnny Cash.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:11 PM on September 29, 2018


This list needs: Don't it make by brown eyes blue, by Crystal Gayle
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 5:16 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Maybe more country rock than country, but there's also Chip Taylor, John Tucker's On the Wagon Again or Circle of Tears
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:17 PM on September 29, 2018


Might count as well-known, but Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, Love Hurts

Sorry, I'm adding these as they come to me. I'll try to make a list... I really like country music and I'm happy someone asked a question about it.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 5:26 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Technically released in 1967 but The Party's Over by Willie Nelson is great.
The Bottle Let Me Down by Merle Haggard.
This is The Way We Make a Broken Heart by Ry Cooder
Two More Bottles of Wine by Emmylou Harris
posted by brookeb at 5:45 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


A couple more Ry Cooder Gems - Always Lift Him Up and He'll Have to Go
posted by brookeb at 5:58 PM on September 29, 2018


Really like "The Door" by George Jones for this.
posted by kensington314 at 6:11 PM on September 29, 2018


there's a lot to dislike about David Allan Coe, but once upon a time you could hear his music without having learned from the Internet about his racist biker music and Confederate Flag guitars. "Lost," from 1979, is a good song in this vein.
posted by kensington314 at 6:15 PM on September 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


"I'd Rather Be Gone," by Merle Haggard is a good song off a good album from 1971.
posted by kensington314 at 6:21 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


to be clear, by "in this vein" I don't mean racist, I mean what you're looking for if you can separate the song from things he later became notorious for.
posted by kensington314 at 6:23 PM on September 29, 2018


John Prine! "Sam Stone" might be his saddest, but not lost love type of sad.
posted by kensington314 at 6:24 PM on September 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Glenn Campbell's Wichita lineman is amazing, but, you need to listen to Dennis Brown's version - https://g.co/kgs/EgdP8p

2015 Margo Price - Hurtin' on the Bottle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtxUDSRfmto

2016 Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett - Over Everything - https://youtu.be/3KNsBCf34fQ

2000 Beachwood Sparks - Desert Skies - https://youtu.be/2nrPdJVvh1Q

1969 John Stewart - Shackles and chains - https://youtu.be/Ikq9ZFwtiHg

1977 Gene Clarke - Homerun king - https://youtu.be/_7w4-PzFrZA

so much good/sad/winsome country/americana
posted by askmehow at 6:28 PM on September 29, 2018


Gary Stewart: She's Acting Single, I'm Drinking Doubles (1975) She's Acting Single
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:56 PM on September 29, 2018


Freddy Fender: Before the Next Teardrop Falls (1975) Before

He also sang "Wasted Days, Wasted Nights"

English/Spanish mix
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:58 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


George Jones: He Stopped Loving Her Today (April 1980) He Stopped probably the most heartbreaking of them all
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:08 PM on September 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


Ruby by Kenny Rogers sounds a little upbeat but is literally a paralyzed veteran begging his wife not to go out on the town to find a lover, so
posted by MadamM at 7:41 PM on September 29, 2018


Barbara Fairchild's The Teddy Bear Song was a childhood favorite of mine - it took me years to figure out that it was very much not a happy song.

Eddie Rabbit's Two Dollars in the Jukebox sounds peppy and upbeat until you listen to the words.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:35 PM on September 29, 2018


George Jones, Tammy Wynette: Southern California.

Guy Clarke, She Ain't Going Nowhere.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 8:36 PM on September 29, 2018


I can't Make You Love Me, Bonnie Raitt
posted by effluvia at 8:43 PM on September 29, 2018


Tammy Wynette - stand by your man always struck me as about a certain kind of heartbreak. Her song I don’t want to play house is also wrenching.

Reba McEntire has Invitation to the Blues on her debut album in 1976

Lynn a Anderson how can I unlove you

Jessi Colter gained fame with I’m not Lisa (lisa is the ex that left the man the narrator loves)


Donna Fargo - you reach for the bottle, as well as who’s been sleeping on my side of the bed

Barbara Mandrell - possibly woman to woman and maybe married but not to each other, depending on how flexible you are about heartbreak. The narrators of these songs are very proactive in solving their problems.

Anne Murray - he thinks I still care
posted by bilabial at 8:56 PM on September 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


seconding "I Can't Make You Love Me."
posted by kensington314 at 9:05 PM on September 29, 2018


Oh yeah, not a deep cut, but Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn did After the Fire is Gone in the 70s. And it's great.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:13 PM on September 29, 2018


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkP4sIElodY

Sammi Smith, Toast of 45.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:55 PM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


No Linda Ronstadt yet? How about a few from the earlier albums:
- "Crazy Arms" (1972)
- "Long, Long Time" (1970)
- "Heart Like a Wheel" (1974) (not sure if this qualifies, since it's a departure from "1970s country" in terms of arrangement, but I mean, it's a classic McGarrigle song, and with lyrics like "my love for you is like a sinking ship" and "it's only love that can wreck a human being" I'm pretty sure it qualifies as heartbreaky...)
- "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)" (1974)
- "Silver Blue" (1975)
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 11:15 PM on September 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


ctrl-f "help me make it through the night" = 0

seriously !!!
posted by philip-random at 12:00 AM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Well you really got me this time
and the hardest part is knowing I'll survive..

("From Boulder to Birmingham" - Emmylou Harris's song to a lost Gram Parsons)
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:04 AM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


The two genres you’re looking for are Outlaw Country and The Bakersfield Sound. I’d also recommend any country record made in Muscle Shoals AL in the 70s.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:41 AM on September 30, 2018


I'd go with the Sammi Smith version for Help Me Make It Through The Night.
posted by clawsoon at 7:03 AM on September 30, 2018


Crystal Gayle - River Road
posted by clawsoon at 7:04 AM on September 30, 2018




For The Good Times: Kris Kristofferson - Ray Price - Al Green

(The Al Green version isn't exactly country, but an example of a great song breaking genres.)
posted by clawsoon at 7:10 AM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


1969, and a different sort of heartbreak, but: Merle Haggard - Mama's Hungry Eyes
posted by clawsoon at 7:14 AM on September 30, 2018




Another one that slid between country and soul: Clarence Carter - Patches
posted by clawsoon at 7:43 AM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


I heartily agree with MoveableBookLady's recommendation for George Jones "He Stopped Loving Her Today", but that link she provided is to a live performance that isn't very good. Don't know if he was nervous or high or what, but GJ drops a lot of words and isn't on the melody. As an alternate, Here is the regular broadcast version of "He Stopped Loving Her Today", which has been breaking country hearts over and over again for almost 40 years.
posted by seasparrow at 8:34 AM on September 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Don't know if he was nervous or high or what, but GJ drops a lot of words and isn't on the melody.

The second possibility is more likely. That's a problem with a lot of live George Jones performances.

This performance with his ex-wife Tammy Wynette of Golden Ring is an exception; Jones appears to be just drunk enough.
posted by clawsoon at 8:42 AM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Good Time Charlie's got the Blues
Rainy Night in Georgia
Please Come to Boston
Would You Lay with me in a Field of Stone

Sleepless Nights is my personal fave Parsons/Harris cover of Bodleaux/Bryant.
posted by ovvl at 5:40 PM on September 30, 2018


Does it have to be 1970s, or can it just feel like 1970s?
posted by librarina at 12:00 AM on October 1, 2018


1975 B.J. Thomas "(hey won't you play) another somebody done somebody wrong song"
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:10 AM on October 1, 2018


Goodbye Again, by John Denver. The lyrics are more bitter than I realized as a kid.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:43 AM on October 3, 2018


Lee Hazlewood - "If It's Monday Morning"
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:15 PM on October 3, 2018


ovvl: Sleepless Nights is my personal fave Parsons/Harris cover of Bo[u]dleaux/Bryant.
Not sure if you know this, but "Boudleaux Bryant" was one person. He did write with a partner, his wife Felice, but if you were to parallel the construction you have used for "Parsons/Harris" they would be "Bryant/Bryant"
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:22 PM on October 3, 2018


Since you said 1970s I'm guessing you're open to that big hair, Nudie suit style? Elvis: Funny How Time Slips Away.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:41 PM on October 3, 2018


Uh, thanks for the correction, I'll go listen to some Everly Bros, they're two persons.
posted by ovvl at 5:59 PM on October 6, 2018


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