Day 83: 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 83.

We’ve got a country artist (Clay Walker) and an album from the Beatles featured today.

If you know country music’s history since the ’60s, then you know that both country music and The Beatles have long flirted with each other, and several country stars have scored with covers of The Fab Four. That includes Tom T. Hall (“P.S. I Love You), Rosanne Cash (“I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party”) and Johnny Rodriguez (“Something”) among others.

It’s that last artist that we’ll feature as your bonus pick. Like Walker, Rodriguez hails from Texas, but he was known for adding a Tex-Mex touch to his version of Texas honky-tonk. We featured Walker’s third album below, and Rodriguez’s third album was the record that featured his cover of “Something,” a song written by The Beatles’ George Harrison.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

The Beatles

The Beatles (White Album)

Why I Love It

Growing up, I was much more of an Elvis fan than an aficionado of The Beatles, mainly because I wasn’t really aware of much of the Fab Four’s music until I got to high school and began broadening my musical horizons. There are a few Beatles albums regarded as the band’s best depending on who you ask, but this double album with the famous plain white cover has always been my favorite by a landslide. For me, it incorporates the greatest band in rock and roll history experimenting with just about every genre of music under the sun. And there is not a single throw-away track among the 30 on this revolutionary masterpiece. If I had to make a list of my 25 favorite songs by The Beatles, there’s no doubt in my mind that at least 12 of them would come from the “White Album.” If I had to only listen to one record for the rest of my life, this would likely be my choice. To say The Beatles were ahead of their time on a record like this one is like saying “Star Wars” has been a pretty successful movie franchise. Duh.

Album Highlights

“Back in the U.S.S.R.,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Helter Skelter”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

Like Chuck, I was a big Elvis fan growing up while mostly being in the dark about The Beatles. Sure, I knew the big hits like “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Feel Fine,” but I was mostly oblivious to their albums until I got to college. Their catalog was one of my first deep dives when I got to Austin, and this double album was the first Beatles CD I ever bought. It is without a doubt one of the greatest albums of all time in any genre.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Clay Walker

Hypnotize The Moon (1995)

Why I Love It

Clay Walker was one of the many hat acts that came along in the early ’90s as the new traditionalist revolution began to wind down.

Walker, however, distinguished himself through his clever song selections which ultimately yielded six No. 1 hits and 17 Top 10’s in all.

That includes three Top 5 hits from this 1995 set — two of which made it to No. 2 (“Who Needs You Baby” and the title track). While Walker’s first two albums were solid and established him as a reliable hitmaker, his third outing here finds his voice sounding even richer and more nuanced, and you can hear his confidence growing in the studio as the hits kept coming. One of the best in Walker’s catalog.

Album Highlights

“Hypnotize The Moon,” “Where Were You” and “A Cowboy’s Toughest Ride”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

I can’t tell you how happy I am that Kendall included a Clay Walker album on his list. I had Clay’s greatest hits collection on my initial list, but it narrowly missed the cut when I reached 100. When it comes to polished, clever country songs, few can churn them out as well as Clay Walker. Another huge part of the 1990s country music scene, the Texas native jumped right into the fray with a pair of successful hit records before releasing this third album, which more than holds its own. Walker has a perfect voice for the genre, whether he’s belting out a honky-tonk foot-stomper like “Only in Days That End in ‘Y'” or a beautiful love song like the title track. If you aren’t familiar, check this one out.

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