Since I’ve dubbed it Oklahoma Country Music Day here at BAM’s Blog, I’ve compiled a list of an even dozen of my favorite country songs that reference my fantastic home state. With Oklahoma’s strong country music tradition, it’s no surprise that this list is just a small sampling, listed in no particular order and dictated entirely by my mood.
1. “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma,” David Frizzell and Shelly West. Current Oklahoma country music stars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, sweethearts who live on neighboring Tishomingo farms, do a really great version of this heartfelt ballad, as you can see from this YouTube video of CMT’s 100 Greatest Duets countdown.
2. “Outlaw Band,” Jason Boland and the Stragglers. Boland and Co. close their latest album ”Comal County Blue” with this song penned by the late Bob Childers, Randy Crouch and Layle Stagner.
3. “Boys from Oklahoma,” Cross Canadian Ragweed.
4. “Okie from Muskogee,” Merle Haggard. Check out this YouTube video of a Merle and Tammy Wynette duet to this classic country song, which you already knew was going on this list. (Yes, the placement of No. 3 and 4 back to back is deliberate. Yes, I have a cheeky sense of irony.)
5. “Honky Tonk U,” Toby Keith. He outlines how he broke into the music biz, starting with summers at his grandmother’s night club on the Oklahoma-Arkansas line.
6. “Oklahoma Swing,” Vince Gill and Reba McEntire opened the Oklahoma Centennial Spectacular with this terrific two-stepper, as you can see in this YouTube video.
7. “Oklahoma-Texas Line,” Rascal Flatts.
8. “Does the Wind Still Blow in Oklahoma,” Reba McEntire and Ronnie Dunn.
9. “In Oklahoma,” Cross Canadian Ragweed. Cody Canada co-wrote this musical history lesson with Stoney LaRue.
10. “Oklahoma Breakdown,” Hosty Duo. LaRue covered this smoking song on his album “Live at Billy Bob’s Texas,” and you can see his rendition (or at least part of it) in this YouTube video.
11. “I Ain’t in Checotah Anymore,” Carrie Underwood. I’m rounding out this list with a pair of songs by fellow small-town Oklahoma kids paying homage to their hometowns.
12. “Podunk,” Keith Anderson. Check out Miami, OK, in this video, from YouTube.