Day 14: The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music

The staff of the College Football America Yearbook is on the road every weekend of the college football season, shooting games and gathering information for the following year’s book. That means a lot of driving and listening to a lot of music.

Earlier this year our College Football America Yearbook publisher Kendall Webb and our director of editorial content Chuck Cox put together ‘The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music.’ Each of them sat down and compiled a list of 100 great albums. Their goal was not to select the ‘100 greatest albums of all time.’ It was simply to select 100 great albums to write about as they passed the time during quarantine and shelter-at-home orders.

This 2020 college football season will be unprecedented in so many ways. It’s very likely none of us will be on the road for games because, like most people, we’re trying to stay healthy. And we hope you are too.

So, for the next 100 days, we’re going to publish their countdown here at CollegeFootballAmericaPR.com (the list was originally published on Webb’s personal site, kendallwebb.net). Consider it the ultimate playlist for the ultimate college road trip — music for every taste, from every genre and from every decade of the modern era of music. When the staff of the College Football America Yearbook is back on the road, you can bet these will be some of the tunes we’re listening to.

And, if you missed the previous installments of our series, just click here to head to the Coronavirus Countdown — 100 Days of Great Music home page.

Here’s Day 14. Kendall took a reflective look back on Jackson Browne before he and Chuck dug into their musical choices for the day.

Nothing new as far as we can tell relating to coronavirus news in the music world.

That gives us a chance to look back at one of the artists who seems to have recovered from the coronavirus. Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne announced on March 24 that he had been diagnosed with the virus, but indicated at the time that his symptoms were relatively mild.

Our bonus pick is Browne’s 1971 classic “Running On Empty.” The album is essentially a concept album about life on the road recorded live on stage, on the bus and in hotel rooms where Browne was on tour. The title cut became a big hit driving sales and ultimately leading to the album being the biggest seller of his career.

When you’re done with that one, we’ve got our two daily picks as always below.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Doug Stone

Doug Stone (1990)

Why I Love It

This is another album that immediately takes me back to my college days when I hear it. In fact, it might be the first one Kendall and I heard and loved around the same time. To me, it’s a perfect album that embodies the upswing country music took in the 1990s. Every song is well-written and flawlessly executed. It’s an emotional roller-coaster of a record that I have always loved.

Album Highlights

“I’d Be Better Off (In a Pine Box),” Fourteen Minutes Old” and “In a Different Light”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

Chuck’s right, this is one we both connected on not long after we met in college. It was albums like this that brought a long-haired (at the time) rocker like Chuck and a cowboy hat-wearing rube like me together and cemented a friendship that’s 30 years old this year.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Ray Charles

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962)

Why I Love It

As the title suggests, this wasn’t a straight country album as much as it was a re-imagining of what country music could be. He leaned heavily on songs originally written and recorded by Hank Williams, Eddy Arnold, Floyd Tillman and Ted Daffan — all of whom had started their careers in the ’30s or ’40s — and he dressed up their tunes in soulful arrangements with string backings reminiscent of the new Nashville Sound.

The result was very much a pop album despite being constructed around classic country songs. It proved to be a winning formula and an enduring work that still thrills and enthralls almost six decades after it was recorded. There was a reason they called him The Genius.

Album Highlights

“I Love You So Much It Hurts,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and “That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

When a great artist meets a great song, magic usually happens. This album is no exception. Ray Charles covering country hits is pretty damn awesome. Great pick, Kendall.

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