The Results Are In: Did You Prefer The Originals Or The Covers Of These Hit Country Songs?

A man and a woman in costumes

The results are in.

Last week we asked you whether you preferred the original or the cover version of some hit country songs.

Some were close, and some weren’t at all. So let’s take a look at what you, the readers, decided:

“Where Corn Don’t Grow”

By a razor thin margin of 51-49, Waylon Jennings’ original beat out Travis Tritt’s 1996 cover version.

Winner: Original

“Pop A Top”

No big surprise here, but a whopping 91% preferred Alan Jackson’s cover to Jim Ed Brown’s 1967 original.

Winner: Cover

“When You Say Nothing At All”

This one wasn’t particularly close either – Alison Krauss’ cover was beautiful (and may even be the best-known version of the song at this point), but 73% still prefer Keith Whitley’s original.

Winner: Original

“Cover Me Up”

I figured this one would be close – and it was. By just 8%, more of you preferred Morgan Wallen’s cover to Jason Isbell’s original of “Cover Me Up.”

Winner: Cover

“My Maria”

Ok, with all due respect to B.W. Stevenson, this wasn’t even really a fair fight. A whopping 98% picked the Brooks & Dunn cover of “My Maria” over Stevenson’s original.

Winner: Cover

“The Race Is On”

Another win for the classics, as 73% preferred the George Jones original version of this one to Sawyer Brown’s rocking cover.

Winner: Original

“Callin’ Baton Rouge”

I love the Oak Ridge Boys, but Garth Brooks took this song to another level with his cover – so it’s no surprise that 81% preferred that version to the original.

Winner: Cover


I’m a big fan of Bobbie Gentry too (“Harper Valley PTA” is such a classic) but her original version of Fancy didn’t really stand a chance against the queen’s. Reba’s version took this one with 90% of the vote.

Winner: Cover


This one would have been tough for me to choose. Hank Williams and Charley Pride are both such legends. But it was the original legend who won this one, with Hank’s version of “Kaw-Liga” taking 69% of the vote over Charley Pride’s cover.

Winner: Original

“Wagon Wheel”

I’ve heard both versions of this song so many times that it haunts me in my sleep. But this was a close matchup, with the Old Crow Medicine Show’s original being preferred only slightly over Darius Rucker’s cover by a 54-46 margin.

Winner: Original

“Tennessee Whiskey”

I really wasn’t sure how this one would go. I know that I prefer Chris Stapleton’s cover over the originals by David Allan Coe and George Jones, but those are two legendary names so I thought they would all make strong showings.

Well, I was wrong. Turns out most of you agreed with me, with Chris Stapleton’s cover being the top choice for a whopping 76% of the voters. The original by David Allan Coe only got 11% of the vote, with George Jones taking 13% of the vote for his version.

Winner: Cover

So of the 11 songs that we polled, the covers were preferred in 6 of the matchups while the originals took 5.

Generally it’s considered a risky move to cover an already-popular song, but as this (incredibly unscientific) poll shows, sometimes it works out.

Just ask Chris Stapleton.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock