And the Gold Chain Cowboy himself, Mr. Parker McCollum, came through for me with his Sad Country Songs Make Me Happy feature selection.
There’s just nothin’ like a sad country song, and if you follow Whiskey Riff in any capacity, then you know how much all of us here love them.
And since some of my favorite artists in the genre right now have written some of my very favorite sad songs that hurt so good, I wanted to know what some of their favorite’s were that inspired them to write soul-crushing music just like George, Willie, Merle, Waylon and all the other country greats.
Presented by our friends at Templeton Distillery, he says his go-to sad country song is by the one and only Willie Nelson:
“Favorite go-to sad country song would be ‘Last Thing I needed First Thing This Morning’ by Willie Nelson.
First of all, it’s a great hook. Super well written and Willie’s voice is probably my favorite voice of all country music ever.
Anything he sings is golden, but there’s just a certain kind of heartbreak in that song that’s hard to find anywhere else.”
“Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning” was written by Gary Nunn and Donna Farar, it was released as the third single from Willie’s iconic 1982 album, Always On My Mind, and eventually peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
Parker loves classic country, and says those old, sad heartbreakers are huge influences on his own writing now as an artist, who has a fantastic catalog of some great sad songs, too:
“I think sad songs kind of take you back to the times you remember first hearing them. I wouldn’t say I necessarily I listen to any new sad songs.
It’s always old sad songs that influence my songwriting so much.”
He added that country music and sadness are synonymous, and it’s the realest emotion we can feel as human beings, and because of that, they stick with you forever:
“The realest emotion in the world, and country music is sadness. Happy songs are great and all, but sad songs are the ones that I feel like stick with you forever.
You remember them forever and they’re always there when you need them.”
Amen to that, Parker…
And this Willie Nelson heartbreaker is absolutely one of my all-time favorite’s, too. It does the trick every single time:
And one of my go-to’s from Parker is “I Can’t Breathe,” from his 2017 Probably Wrong record: