Hickory Wind - The Byrds (1968)
Country rock possibly started in 1964 with The Beatles. "I'll Cry Instead" definitely had the feel of a honky tonk anthem played by a Merseybeat combo. Then, as they sometimes did at the time, the Stones took hold of that idea and ran with it on 1966's "High & Dry'. America then took the reigns as Dylan mustered up his arcane western answer to the summer of love with the John Wesley Harding LP. Still, it took the band that took Bobby to the top of the charts to bring about today's selection. All because of their newest member too. I take nothing away from what the Byrds did before Sweetheart of The Rodeo, nor do I dismiss the scattered brilliance of what came after. Still, Sweetheart created alt. country in one fell swoop, while giving us the father of the genre, Gram Parsons and his masterwork. A rumination of beautific nostalgia, there has never been a better country song than "Hickory Wind", and I don't think there ever will be. Amazingly enough, Gram even played it at the Grand Old Opry to a cascade of boos and catcalls. If only the music that passes for country today on Opry broadcasts sounded a millimeter as authentic as this.
Keith really should go solo more often!