Day 79: 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 79.

We’re all about the country music today again, but we can’t move along without acknowledging the passing of Charlie Daniels earlier in 2020.

Daniels is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and while many country artists have successfully bridged the gap between country and pop, not many have managed to meld country and rock together as seamlessly as Charlie Daniels did. In fact, depending on your frame of reference, you may view Daniels as more of a Southern rocker than as a straight-up country artist, and there’s nothing wrong with that. He is, indeed, both of those at once. His 1979 album Million Mile Reflections features his biggest hit, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” and it is your bonus pick of the day.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Garth Brooks

No Fences (1990)

Why I Love It

It’s not easy for me to put into words how much Garth Brooks means to me as an artist. From the first time I heard one of his songs, I connected to the Oklahoma native on an emotional level. I was just starting college when this album turned Garth Brooks into a household name. It’s easy to hear why. Blending the many genres of music that Brooks grew up loving, he perfectly puts his unique spin on 10 fantastic songs. This album has one of the all-time greatest ballads (“Unanswered Prayers,”) one of the all-time greatest honky-tonk sing-a-longs (“Friends in Low Places,”) and one of the all-time greatest revenge songs (“The Thunder Rolls.”) So, the rest of the album around those songs must be filler, right? Not an unanswered prayer. Every song on this country classic holds its own. “Wolves,” the album closer, is one of my favorite Garth songs. Witnessing the scope of his amazing career, which currently includes a tour of sold-out stadium shows, has been something special. This is a perfect album on every level.

Album Highlights

“The Thunder Rolls,” “Friends in Low Places” and “Wolves”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

“Friends In Low Places” dropped in the summer of 1990, just before Chuck and I met that fall at Kilgore College. This was one of the first artists and albums that we bonded over musically. At the time, Chuck was a rocker with an earring and a Poison logo on the back of his denim jacket. I was a hick who wore Wranglers and a cowboy hat. Garth’s love for both classic rock and country brought it all together, and it planted the seeds for a friendship that stretches back now 30 years. Thanks for playing along, Chuck, and helping me pick out the music here.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Sylvia

Just Sylvia (1982)

Why I Love It

Sylvia was my sister’s favorite singer, and I remember attending a concert with her in Marshall, Texas, to see Sylvia.

We got to meet her afterward, and I was completely mesmerized by her. It was sometime around the time this album, Just Sylvia, came out in 1982 which featured Sylvia’s signature hit “Nobody.”

It’s an overlooked song these days, but at the time it was a massive hit crossing over to the pop charts and propelling Sylvia to ACM Female Vocalist of the Year honors. I’ve always loved the album, too, which also featured the hits “Sweet Yesterday” and “Like Nothing Ever Happened.”

Album Highlights

“Nobody,” “Sweet Yesterday” and “Like Nothing Ever Happened”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

We are all about the country albums today on the countdown. I love this selection by Kendall. In addition to being one of my first music crushes, Sylvia has an amazing voice that is evident all over this great record. The first single, “Snapshot,” was a huge crossover success that I remember hearing in heavy rotation on country and pop radio stations. The song also sets the tone for a solid, well-crafted country album with pop leanings. It’s well worth your time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: