A well considered list of nine timeless recordings

When Lawson Little’s collection of country-music photographs arrived at BS HQ, one of the first things we thought was, “Greg Germani has got to see this.”

Two reasons for that:

First, Germani appreciates more than almost anyone we know the power of photography to capture moments of history that fade with time. For 10 years, Germani has run his own website, Atlanta Time Machine, which assembles hundreds of historical photos side-by-side with Germani’s own shots from the same vantage points. The Time Machine has become an indispensable resource for people interested in Atlanta history.

Second, Germani is a country-music scholar and record collector of the highest order.

Knowing that second fact led us to give Greg a sneak peek at Little’s photographs and to issue him a challenge. We asked him to give us a list of three timeless, essential songs from, respectively, the classic years of Nashville country, Texas country and California country.

Greg said, “No problem.” But when his list arrived, he confessed the job was a little harder than he thought it would be.

“It was ridiculously hard to limit it to three per category,” Greg said. “Ask me next week, and at least half of these will change.” That’s OK. Such is life in the rapids and eddies of America’s musical rivers, we suppose. But for now, Greg’s 3/3/3 list — triads of classics from Nashville, Texas and California — will keep you dancing, crying or both, at least until he rethinks it next week.


Header photos of dancing couple by Lawson Little


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