Best Music Website: is the most complete music website to find the older rock and roll, country, blues, country and western, doo wop and easy listening songs that we all grew up with in the 50’s and 60’s and some other decades.

This website has been online for 12 years and has had over 2 million visitors.

After arriving at the website scroll down and you will see a group of icons which are links to non-music sections of the website.

To get to the music keep scrolling down and you will see in the first row of icons a section that has some easy listening music and an old time radio section among other icons.

The last five icons on the page will be where most of the music is. You will see a Blues In My Eye Juke Joint icon that has three jukeboxes loaded with blues music.

The next icon labeled Lost in the 50’s jukebox will have six jukeboxes of rock and roll music. In the middle of the second row you will see the words  Doo Wop Drivein which will have three jukeboxes of Doo Wop music.

The next icon over will say Satin Smoothies and it has two jukeboxes of easy listening music. The next jukebox will say Sunrise Gospel and will include a lot of traditional hymns and southern gospel type songs.

The last icon on the front page will say Two Steppin’ Tunes Jukebox Saloon and it has three jukeboxes of country and western music.

All of the music at this site is the full track of  whatever song is selected.

The website uses Real Player to play the songs. The songs don’t start right away but it may be because of of my slow computer.

Enjoy the music!!!


Charley Pride: Kiss An Angel Good Morning

Charley Pride singing Kiss An Angel Good Morning on the Marty Stuart Show.

Dance Marathon Craze

Dance marathons were a popular craze during the 20s and 30s and a way to win some cash during the depression.
Dance marathons were a popular craze during the 20’s and 30’s and a way to win some cash during the economic crisis of the great depression.

Alma Cummings started the dance marathon craze after outlasting six partners in 1923.  Spectators were charged admission and the winners would receive a cash prize.

The marathons would become grueling tests of endurance for the participants trying to outlast the other couples. Attendants at the scene would try to keep the contestants awake by dabbing wet towels on their faces.

The contestants would be allowed a 15 minute break every hour. The contests sometimes would last for days, weeks and even months and the craze was memorialized in the movie They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?.

They were not required to dance continuously but had to be in a dancing position to keep from being disqualified. There has been reports of the marathons being fixed by the promoters but I can’t see how they could prevent a local from winning the contest if they had the power to stay awake longer than the ones being in on the fix.

The world record for continuous dancing is held by June Hovick who went on to be known as June Havoc the actress. She and her partner danced for 3400 consecutive hours and collecting a whopping $40 for their efforts.

A couple could earn $20 to $30 a week just for dancing, plus were fed eight meals a day, ostensibly to keep their energy levels high, when they were exhausted from the dance marathons. 

States began outlawing the marathons probably mostly for health reasons. Half of the states had outlawed them by the mid 1930’s.

Eventually the marathon dances were outlawed in most states. The dances had become a cheap spectator sport for people who couldn’t afford more expensive forms of entertainment.

Some of the dancers died as they struggled to outlast their opponents. Shady promoters were cheating the contestants by bring in professional marathon dancers who had the art of staying awake to a science.

This is one craze that most people were glad to see go after they realized it was for the most part a scam by greedy promoters to line their pockets will ill-gotten cash.

This is a video of a dance marathon that has been going on for five months. The man being interviewed has to wake up his partner and she asks what month it is.

This video looks more realistic and probably is a bona fide video from the dance marathon days.

The Big Band Era

Glenn Miller band shown during the height of the big band era.
Glenn Miller band shown during the height of the big band era and the band is still active today.

Glenn Miller is generally acknowledged to be the best known bandleader in the big band era forming the Glenn Miller Band in 1945 and it is still active 64 years later in 2009.

Miller joined Special Services in 1942 and his band traveled overseas to entertain the troops. The last time Miller was seen alive was when he boarded a transport plane to Paris on December 15, 1944. He was 40 years old at the time of his disappearance.

The Glenn Miller Band was just one of many popular bands during the swing era of big band music.

The Glenn Miller Band playing the big band classic In The Mood.

The following videos are of other big bands of the era:

Frank Sinatra and Connie Haines singing an audio version of  Oh Look At Me Now with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra during the 1940’s.

Harry James Orchestra playing I’ve Heard That Song Before with Helen Forrest vocalizing on this audio clip.

The Kay Kyser Orchestra was known not only for great music but Kay Kyser liked to add a comedic touch to his concerts.

This is a modern version of a swing orchestra with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Setzer is known for being a member of the Stray Cats during the 80’s.

Big band music played a big part in entertaining the people during World War II but also entertained the troops overseas when possible.

Glenn Miller paid the ultimate price to do his part in entertaining the troops overseas and his music lives on today.

I have some of his music in my MP3 player and can play his great hits of the big band era like Moonlight Serenade, Tuxedo Junction, In the Mood, I’ve Got A Gal in Kalamazoo and Chattanooga Choo Choo at any time I get in the mood to hear the great songs of that era.

Tammy Wynette: Till I Can Make It On My Own

The late Tammy Wynette singing Till I Can Make It On My Own. When I think of Tammy I think of her ability to sing with so much emotion you could feel like she had experienced in her own life what she was singing about at the time.

Merle Haggard: From San Quentin To Country Music Hall of Fame

Merle Haggard shown in his younger days.
Merle Haggard shown in his younger days.
A much older Merle Haggard pictured more recently.
A much older Merle Haggard pictured more recently after years of touring and recording.

Merle Ronald Haggard

Born: April 7, 1937 in Bakersfield, California and is now 72 years of age.

If there was ever a person with a troubled childhood it would be Merle Haggard who lost his father James at the age of nine to a brain tumor. His father had played the fiddle in honky tonks prior to his death.

His mother would have him sent to juvenile detention centers but it made little difference in his behavior. He ran away from home at the age of 14 and shortly after was singing in a bar for $5 and all the beer he could drink.

He was influenced to make country music a career after singing for Lefty Frizzell before  a show and Frizzell let him sing a couple of songs during the concert and Merle was well received.

By 1957 he was getting more work in Bakersfield nightclubs but encountered financial problems that led him back to a life of robbery.  He made the mistake of robbing a restaurant (some reports say it was a tavern which is more likely considering the hour) while he and two other robbers were drunk.

The three robbers thought it was 3AM but it was in fact 10:30 PM and it was still open. Merle was captured and given a 15 year sentence in San Quentin prison.

He got in more trouble in prison by running a gambling racket and brewing beer in his cell. He was found drunk and placed in isolation and would talk to Caryl Chessman who was on death row and would become one of California’s best known death row residents.

Chessman convinced him to get his life together and he also would see Johnny Cash in concert at the prison which also was a factor in him turning his life around. He once told Cash he enjoyed the show at San Quentin and Johnny said he didn’t remember him being in the show and Haggard told him he wasn’t in the show but in the audience.

After having his sentence reduced after his second parole hearing he was released from San Quentin in 1960. He had a chance to escape with a fellow convict but turned it down.

It turned out the convict did escape but shot a police officer and was later executed. The decision not to escape was instrumental because if he had escaped and had been recaptured he may have never been able to pursue his career in country music.

Merle drove to Las Vegas to see the Wynn Stewart club show and he was given a chance to perform by one of the band members who knew Merle.  Stewart walked in while Merle was singing and hired him to be a bassist in his band because he was so impressed.

Stewart had a song called Sing A Sad Song which Merle wanted to record and Stewart let him record it and it became a hit nationally.

Swinging Doors would be his first song to rank high in the national country charts and it went to No.5 in the country in 1966. He would go on to have 37 straight songs reach the Top 10 with 23 of them reaching No.1 on the charts.

He would record many songs that had to do with his life in prison with him most famous being Branded Man plus some songs about prison not quite so well known like I Made the Prison Band.

1969 would see Hungry Eyes, Workin’ Man Blues and Okie From Muskogee go to No. 1.

1985 would see a new kind of country artist emerge with traditional country music taking a backseat and singers like Merle would not have the success they had enjoyed in the past.  He would have his last No.1 hit with Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Star in 1987.

In 2004 he would release Unforgettable: Merle Haggard which features him singing in an entirely different genre of songs from the American songbook.

He sings classics like Unforgettable, Cry Me A River, Pennies From Heaven and the classic song from Casablanca, As Time Goes By.

After listening to clips of these songs at it only impresses me more with Merle that he could sing these songs out of his comfort zone so well.

To hear these clips:

The following videos are just a few of his many great songs recorded over the years but will still give a good representation of  the music of Merle Haggard and remind us again of he turned his life around from a life of crime to being elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.

Merle singing his life story and how his mama tried to raise him better in this song Mama Tried.

Merle singing Today I Started Loving You Again in a duet with the late Tammy Wynette.

Merle singing I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am in his younger days.

Merle singing his hit Okie From Muskogee in 1968.

Merle singing one of my favorites Branded Man.

Merle singing in of his most popular patriotic songs The Fightin’ Side of Me.

Merle singing a little bit of his Working Man Blues.

Merle singing I’ll Fly Away shortly before his 72nd birthday in 2009 with an introduction by two singers on the stage telling about their respect for Merle Haggard before the show starts and then talking again after the show about Merle.

A duet of Merle and Johnny Cash singing Singing Me Back Home.

Ray Price: Still Going Strong At 82

Ray Price in his younger days when he was singing country music in a more traditional style.
Ray Price in his younger days when he was singing country music in a more traditional style.
Ray Price pictured singing in later years after he had switched to a more urbane country sound.
Ray Price pictured singing in recent years after he had switched to a more urbane country sound.

Ray Noble Price

Born: January 12, 1926 in Perryville, Texas

Ray Price is 82 and is now in his seventh decade of being a country music performer. He is only about three months from performing in eight different decades. He will be 83 in January.

Price was as country as you could get early in his career when he sang such hits as Crazy Arms which was his first No.1 single in 1956. His next No.1 single would be My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You which reached the top of the charts in 1957.

Then in 1957 City Lights (a personal favorite) went to No.1 in 1958. Then in 1959 for the fourth straight year Price had a No. 1 hit in Same Old Me. It would be his last No.1 hit till he recorded For the Good Times which reached No.1 in 1970.

Grazin in Greener Pastures’ also was a No. 1 song in 1970 but it must have been the flip side of For the Good Times since I don’t even remember that song.

By then Price had switched to a more sophisticated urbane sound that was more refined with more orchestration. For the second time in his career he would chart No.1 singles in four straight years.

In 1971 I Won’t Mention It Again went to No.1 followed by She’s Got to be a Saint in 1972. It was a song with a great story and is worth listening to if you get the chance.

He reached the top of the Country Singles chart in 1973 with You’re the Best Thing That Happened to Me. That would be the last No. 1 song for Price but 36 years later he is still going strong. He has appeared in concert with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard several times recently.

After switching to using violins instead of fiddles with his new sound Price was caught in the middle of having some of his traditional country fans not happy with the change. On the other hand he was winning new fans that liked his more polished sound.

In my book Ray Price was always great whether singing traditional country music or crooning with an orchestra backing him.

Ray singing My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You.

Ray singing City Lights which was written by Bill Anderson.

Ray singing his No.1 hit For The Good Times.

Ray singing She’s Got To Be A Saint with only audio but the words are so good that is what matters the most.

Ray singing the country and western swing classic San Antonio Rose.

This is Ray singing two of his early hits Crazy Arms and Heartaches By The Number in a more recent concert.

It is amazing that after 60 years of singing that Ray Price is still active today at the age of 82 with his 83rd birthday on the horizon.

Watching the videos of the older Price show that he still has a strong voice and sings with the same passion he sang with back in the 1940’s.

My mind is flooded with memories of  of the traditional country music of the 50’s and 60’s and those memories have came alive watching the videos of  Price over the years in this post.