Even if you’re a new country music fan, the songs and artists you love most were in some way shaped, formed and influenced by the 1990s. It was a great era to be a country star, whether male or female. It was even an exceptional decade for groups, producing some of the most successful bands in the history of country music.
In this special edition of Rare Country’s 5, Erin Holt takes a look at those groups who didn’t just make waves on country radio, but they inspired a whole generation of country stars that we’re rocking to now. We pick one of their biggest hits, but you’ll have to watch the video to see if your guess is right.
This country group made such a name for themselves that even when the rare single didn’t make it to No. 1, their faithful following made it seem like a chart-topper, and that’s what makes Shenandoah have the No. 5 song from a band in the ’90s. Their catalog includes mostly upbeat, toe-tappers and light-hearted lyrics with the occasional thoughtful, pensive or heartbroken tune. The song we suggest for their signature ’90s smash subscribes to the former thought.
FAVORITE LYRIC: “Barbecue chicken in aluminum foil, just enough money for my gas and oil…”
The ACM named Alabama the Artist of the Decade… for the 1980s. Little did we know, there was more to come from this powerhouse band in our No. 4 spot. The 1990s saw a subtle evolution of their sound and the release of a second greatest hits collection, and just a few years later, they released a third. More than 20 more singles made it to the Top 5, and they even did an awesome collaboration with iconic boy band NSYNC. One of their biggest songs of the decade, though, was a classic country singalong.
FAVORITE LYRIC: “I’m on a roll and I’m ready to rock.”
Our No. 3 song from a band in the ’90s was so much more than just their mullets. Diamond Rio cut their teeth playing bluegrass music around Nashville, but there was no stopping their trajectory after they signed their first record deal in 1990. In fact, they remain a viable, active touring band with their original six members still contributing to that easily identifiable sound, down to their killer signature harmonies. Their hits are many, but their first release was also their first No. 1. Now that’s special.
FAVORITE LYRIC: “If we don’t see eye to eye there’s something we can do.”
They may be controversial now, but during the latter half of the ’90s, the Dixie Chicks rose to superstardom at a record-breaking pace the earns them our No. 2 song. With a mix of sweet and sassy, these respected songwriters and musicians peeled off hit after hit and became favorites with females thanks to empowering lyrics and a fashion-forward look. They packed out concert venues where the crowds sang every song louder than the band, including their debut No. 1 hit.
FAVORITE LYRIC: “Should have fit like a glove, should have fit like a ring, like a diamond ring.”
From the middle of the 1990s to the decade’s end, Lonestar was a mainstay on country radio, but it only took one song to cement them into the history of country music and earn them our No. 1 spot. But the ’90s were really just the start for this band that was at one time fronted by Big & Rich’s John Rich. They continued locking down hits well into the 2000s and continued to tour the country. Still, one song is absolutely synonymous with the name Lonestar and also with most weddings in the ’90s.
FAVORITE LYRIC: “It feels like the first time, every time.”
That’s it for another special edition of Rare Country’s 5. Be watching for more fun videos where Erin counts down another fun list of favorite songs, artists and news stories in the world of country music.