The Whiskey Riff Fan-Voted Mount Rushmore Of Country Music

Hank Williams, George Strait, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings posing for the camera with Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the background

Who should be on the Mount Rushmore of Country Music?

It’s a question that we posed to our Twitter followers a few days ago, and we got some great answers and discussion.

So we decided to put it to a vote.

Since Saturday the votes have been pouring in for who you, the Whiskey Riff readers, would put on the Mount Rushmore of Country Music.

What did we mean by the “Mount Rushmore of Country Music?” Did we mean the four artists you think have contributed the most to country music? Or your four personal favorite artists? Or just artists whose face you wanted to see carved in a mountain?

Well, we left that up to you to decide.

And decide you did.

We gave you some options who we thought would be on the majority of people’s lists, but we also left it open for you to write in other choices if you thought there was somebody whose face belonged on the mountain.

Was this dangerous? Of course, because if the Kane Brown stans got ahold of the form and somehow voted him onto Mount Rushmore we’d have to make some tough executive decisions here at Whiskey Riff.

But luckily that didn’t happen (Kane only got one vote), and there was only one vote for Florida Georgia Line (and whoever voted for Dan + Shay to be their fourth alongside George Strait, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams – explain yourself).

The two most popular write-in votes by far were Hank Williams, Jr. and your reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, Eric Church. Guys like Keith Whitley and Conway Twitty also got a lot of love, as did Brooks & Dunn and the members of the original Carter family.

From there, some other there were some other great choices who got a handful of votes including EmmyLou Harris, Randy Travis, Glen Campbell, David Allan Coe and John Prine, alongside more modern artists like Kenny Chesney, Tyler Childers, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

Colter Wall, Cody Jinks, Evan Felker and Kip Moore also received votes, as did quite a few others who wouldn’t come as a big surprise like Tracy Lawrence, Shania Twain and Luke Combs. (Also, shoutout to whoever voted for Aaron Tippin – I respect it).

But now let’s get to who you voted onto your Mount Rushmore of Country Music.

There were two artists who more than 50% voted onto their Mount Rushmore, and they shouldn’t come as a surprise.

First we have Johnny Cash, who led the pack with 63% of all votes cast including the Man in Black on their Mount Rushmore.

Next was George Strait, with 55% of voters choosing to carve the King’s face into stone.

After that, well, it got a lot closer.

Hank Williams was ultimately the third artist to earn his spot on the mountain, with 40% of ballots voting to include the legend on their Mount Rushmore.

And the fourth spot was a CLOSE race between Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. But at the end of the day, Waylon came out ahead by just a handful of votes, claiming the fourth and final spot on the Mount Rushmore of Country Music.

So there you have it: Johnny Cash, George Strait, Hank Williams, Sr. and Waylon Jennings. Not a bad lineup at all, and it’s hard to argue that any of those don’t deserve a spot in the genre’s Mount Rushmore.

Now, did we ultimately settle the debate of who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Country Music? Absolutely not. There are dozens of other artists who you could make a good argument for including, and at the end of the day, it’s just a fun discussion to have.

But it just shows how many great artists we’ve been blessed with in country music over the years – and how passionate country fans really are.

Chart, bar chart

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock