I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - Hank Williams (1949)
The golden age of country music lasted roughly until the mid-seventies, before Nashville became a money-hungry society of banal songwriters, pretty faces and pop-mimicking producers. Still, it had quite a run. Everything we love about "Countrypolitan", "The Bakersfield Sound", "The Outlaw Movement" and anything Billy Sherrill ever touched begins right here. Hank Sr. would write or perform many a touchstone of this American art form, but none would so perfectly capture the circle of the past and the present being unbroken. You would be hard pressed to find any work in the greatest singer/songwriter's canon that can hold a candle next to this honest portrayal of heartache. It's important to remember that it was a b-side to Hank's novelty hit, "My Bucket's Got A Hole In It", and that when it was re-released in 1966, it only made it to number 43 on the Country Charts. It's rare that such a poor chart performance is so widely hailed and covered as this. It just goes to show, as I hope most of this blog pays tribute to, that popularity is no match for quality, and that over time, if a work of art is good, it will find respect. Eternity is a powerful opinion shifter.