Day 15: 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 15. Before the two selections, Kendall looked back on one of country music’s great storytellers.

Today we feature albums by a couple of great singer-songwriters — one from the world of country and folk and the other a classic rock superstar who nevertheless has dipped his toes into the modern Americana/folk scene in the later stages of his career.

So it’s a good day to feature another great country-folk songwriter in our bonus pick, and we’ll go with one of Kendall’s favorite songwriters, the great Tom T. Hall.

Hall was one of the more unique voices in country music throughout the 1970’s. His songs were also unique — nicknamed “The Storyteller,” they often felt like long folk poems set to music rather than typical three-minute country hits. In place of a chorus, he often settled for repeating the main line or hook in a single line at the end of the verse. One prominent example is his 1972 hit “(Old Dogs-Children And) Watermelon Wine” which was part of his album “The Storyteller” — our bonus pick of the day.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Bruce Springsteen

Nebraska (1982)

Why I Love It

While I am not quite as much of a mega fan of “Bruuuuuuuce” as some people, I recognize his undeniable greatness. His nickname is “The Boss” for a reason. Although he has three or four albums that I would have been cool with being on my list, this one stands out. The pure art of storytelling on this record is amazing.

Album Highlights

“Nebraska,” “Atlantic City” and “Highway Patrolman”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

Just like Chuck, I acknowledge Bruce Springsteen’s greatness while not necessarily being drawn to some of his biggest records on a personal level. “Nebraska,” on the other hand, is a record I love and listen to, and it foreshadows the Americana work he’s done over the past couple of decades like his most recent album “Western Stars” released last year.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Guy Clark

Old No. 1 (1975)

Why I Love It

If not for the mid-’70s outlaw movement in country music, it’s likely that an album like Guy Clark’s “Old No. 1” never would have seen the light of day.

That is to say, this is not your traditional, polished Nashville country album from that era. Clark’s voice is a rough-around-the-edges instrument to begin with, and the production here did nothing to hide that fact. The result is a riveting, authentic work of Americana two decades before that scene or genre even existed. Clark had already enjoyed success as a songwriter, but this album finally put his compositions forward in his own voice as they were intended. And they never sounded better than they did here.

Album Highlights

“Rita Ballou,” “She Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” and “Desperadoes Waiting For A Train”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

As a writer, one of my favorite things about music is lyrics. Nobody turns a phrase in a song quite like the late Guy Clark. He is a Texas legend. “Let Him Roll” is one of my all-time favorite songs.

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