From architects of the genre like Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers to game-changers Garth Brooks and Shania Twain
43. Bobby Bare
A progressive artist during a conservative era, Bobby Bare broadened the horizons of country music throughout the Sixties and Seventies, from his early Top 40 single "Shame on Me" – one of the first country singles to incorporate a horn section – to his left-of-center collaborations with novelty songwriter and weirdo poet Shel Silverstein. He rarely wrote his own hits, focusing instead on a unique, conversational delivery that often moved between speaking and singing. Bare picked his material wisely, too, becoming one of the first stars to record songs by Tom T. Hall, Billy Joe Shaver and Kris Kristofferson. Today, at 82, he's still making music, releasing the new LP Things Change this year. A.L.
Key Tracks: "(Margie's at) the Lincoln Park Inn," "Detroit City"