90s Country music artists
It’s always interesting to see a list of underrated musicians because the term “underrated” means different things to different people, but there have been some truly talented singers in the country music genre that have never gotten the acclaim or accolades that they really deserved.
Here are the 10 most underrated performers in country music history …
Dwight Yoakam might seem like the kind of country music superstar that would’ve had a ton of No. 1 hits during his heyday in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but believe it or not he only has two: “Streets of Bakersfield” (with Buck Owens) and “I Sang Dixie.” Some of Yoakam’s biggest tunes like “Guitars, Cadillacs” and “Fast as You” never hit the top spot on the country charts - and that’s truly inexcusable. Yoakam is a one of a kind artist that has always been critically-acclaimed, but never got the respect he really deserved in Nashville due to his Bakersfield Sound that made him an outsider.
Mark Chesnutt had nine songs top the Billboard country music charts in the 1990s, but has faded from country radio since the turn of the century as so many of the great ‘90s singers seem to have done. It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense why Chesnutt’s star faded because his output continues to be solid and his voice is one of the most quintessential country voices of the last few decades, especially on songs like “Too Cold at Home” and “I’ll Think of Something.”
Don Williams had a whopping 21 No. 1 country singles during his heyday, which might make his appearance on an “underrated” list seem rather ridiculous, but he honestly doesn’t get the reception from all-time greatest lists that he should. Williams has probably one of the five greatest voices in the entire history of country music and recorded many of the best songs of the 1970s and yet you never seem to see his name or songs on too many “all-time” lists. That’s what makes him underrated.
John Anderson had six No. 1 country songs during the 1980s and 1990s, but he’s a name that never seems to come up when discussing legendary voices of those decades – that’s why he’s one of the most underrated country artists of all-time. Anderson’s discography from his 1980 debut through the mid-‘90s was just as good as nearly any other male singer of the time and while the Urban Cowboy fad was going on in the early part of the ‘80s Anderson was about the countriest sound on the radio with tunes like “Your Lying Blue Eyes, ” “She Just Started Liking Cheatin’ Songs, ” “Would You Catch a Falling Star” and “Wild & Blue” – all of which are greatly underrated songs in their own right.
Jamey Johnson is the newest artist on this list and has only released three albums of original content to this date, with the last one coming in 2010, but his last two original albums: The Guitar Song (2010) and That Lonesome Song (2008) are among two of the 50 greatest country albums ever recorded and between them they had exactly one song that cracked the top 30 on the Billboard country chart. The problem with Jamey Johnson is he’s far too country to be played on today’s country radio which skews toward pop-country and rock-country music rather than his traditional sound.