Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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Songs My Kids Like: Country Roads - Various Artists

Legbamel Not-Pop

To be fair, my kids like the Me First and the Gimme Gimmes version of Country Roads and they tolerate the John Denver original because they already know all the words. Seeing them sing along if it pops onto the muzac somewhere is truly a treat, particularly if there are some older folks around who still remember John Denver as that sweet boy and never realized he was high most of the time.

But I couldn't post Me First without John Denver, and then when I went to get them I bumped into Toots & the Maytals doing a great reggae version. Well, you know I couldn't stop at three so I started finding more.

I apologize in advance for the David Hasselhoff cover. I just couldn't resist (okay, you're right: I didn't try very hard). The Foggy Mountain Rockers have a pretty good groove going but the lead singer sounds like English is his second language, so bizarre is his accent. Heck, for all I know it is.

The jazzy version from Chick Corea et al sounds pretty much nothing like Country Roads, which makes it just about par for the course. The Olivia Newton-John cover makes you want to stab yourself in the eye with a pixie stick, so very sweet it is, while Ray Charles does a pretty weird country version that just leaves you shaking your head and wondering what meds he was on that day.

Naturally, Willie Nelson does a lovely job, as does Dolly Parton, at least after the shrieking banshee opening that she either stole from or inspired in Olivia Newton-John. And then there's Rednex. Yup, there they are, like Mannheim Steamroller taken over by hillbillies. Enjoy, all!

A Dozen Country Roads by legbamel on Grooveshark

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