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MERLE, HANK, JOHNNY: Greatest Country Artists Ever

Merle Haggard is the greatest country artist of all time -- at least according to the editors of Rolling Stone.

The music mag has compiled a list of the Top 100 country artists in history, and Merle takes the top spot. Hank Williams Senior is number-two, and Johnny Cash is number-three. Here's the whole Top 10:

  1. Merle Haggard
  2. Hank Williams
  3. Johnny Cash
  4. Loretta Lynn
  5. The Carter Family
  6. Willie Nelson
  7. Waylon Jennings
  8. Dolly Parton
  9. George Jones
  10. Garth Brooks

Other notables include Glen Campbell at number-17, George Strait at number-20, Shania Twain at number-25, Charlie Pride at number-31 and Miranda Lambert at number-33.

Some Thoughts:

You really could put Merle, Hank or Johnny at number-one.

Garth is the first truly contemporary artist on the list at number-10, and Miranda is the first person under age 40.

The number-100 artist: John Denver.

Country has such a long history that it's almost impossible to narrow it down to 100 names. 

It's only fitting that country's legends get the top spots. Country is all about showing respect for those who paved the way.

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