I know exactly what CMT wants me to do. That's the reason they do things like put out these lists of the 100 greatest country songs ever. Surely they're not na´ve enough to think that people are going to look at the list and say "Oh, good, there they are, the 100 greatest country songs ever; thank heavens we've finally cleared that up."
No, people are going to look at the list and start raising cain about why their favorite song isn't on the list or how in the heck that no-talent so and so made it, when some more-deserving artist is not even mentioned. CMT gets some controversy going and more importantly they garner a little publicity during the summer doldrums.
Sorry, CMT, I'm not buying. I have opinions about your list, of course, but I'm keeping them to myself. I'm not going to play into your hands.
But I'm grateful that I did learn something I didn't know when I started to write this column, i.e. why I don't like these lists. It's the funereal tone of the thing. I mean you can't really say what are the greatest country songs ever until country music is dead, and it seems to me that there's life in the old dame yet.
So that's why I don't like these kinds of lists - that plus the fact the Statler Brothers "Flowers on the Wall" ought to be a lot higher than 74! And what the heck is Doug Stone doing on this list?
Oh well, I tried.