It’s All About Cheating on Episode 22 of the Forgotten Country Radio Show

There’s something undeniably captivating about tales of heartbreak, betrayal, and redemption that country music creates. And when it comes to songs about cheaters, country artists have mastered the art of storytelling. In Episode 22 of the Forgotten Country Radio Show we’ll be diving into songs from the past and present in search of those gems that just make that tough time a little easier.

On deck we have songs from legends like Hank Williams, Charly McClain, Linda Ronstadt, John Anderson, Dolly Parton, and Left Frizzell. As previously mentioned the country genre has seemed to push out some legendary songs on the topic of cheating, and a lot of it started with these greats. These songs offer some interesting but yet relatable stories.

We also have hearty mix of new an emerging artists heartwrenching tunes that will get you grinding at the teeth. 

Listen to Episode 22 of the Forgotten Country Radio Show on Spotify

Not on Spotify? No problem. We’ve included the full playlist here.

“Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams

It’s a song that I think most people know, it’s a song that people have seen on movies and in films. It’s a song that has been covered by dozens and dozens of artists over the years. It’s by Hank Williams. It was written and performed by Hank Williams, although it was released after his death and I think that it is a song that really embodies almost an entire genre of music. 

“Jolene” by Dolly Parton

It was rated as one of the top songs of all time by Rolling Stone in 2004, and it was like listed as number 217. And now in 2021, it’s moved up the charts for all time greatest songs, and is listed at 63. So I think the older that this song gets, the more people appreciate it. It was actually written about a bank clerk, who was said to have flirted with Dolly Parton’s husband. And then also the name was taken from a woman who got on stage to get an autograph from Dolly Parton. 

“You Ain’t Woman Enough” by Loretta Lynn

This is this is not a forgotten or ignored song. In fact, this is probably one of the most famous songs Loretta Lynn put out. And it was written in just a matter of minutes. Loretta Lynn was telling the story of writing the song a few years back for a documentary and she said that a fan had come backstage to talk with her. And that night, a former boyfriend or ex husband or something like that was in the audience with his new partner. And Loretta Lynn said to that fan, honey, that woman’s not woman enough to take your man and that’s how we got this next song for you.

“Who’s Cheatin’ Who” by Charly McClain

It’s a song that I remember growing up in hearing quite a bit. But I didn’t know or I didn’t find out till later that it was a song, originally written in the 80s by an artist named Charlie McClain, who was an up and coming artists in the late 70s, early 80s. And I wanted to play her version of the song because that was the first version that was made popular. But I also think it’s a better song when it’s sung from the perspective of a woman. I think one of the things that we see in country music is that the cheating songs change dramatically, depending on the perspective that they’re coming from.

“Cheatin’ On Your Baby” by Red Foley

I think the reason why I like this song is I think, for the time, especially coming out in the 40s, early 50s. This song was a little bit surprising because it kind of gives both perspectives. You know, the man’s perspective and the woman’s perspective. So often you you really see especially in those really early days of country music that it was men kind of singing those Honky Tonk songs. And I think this one was a little bit more self aware and maybe ahead of its time.

“Now She Knows What It Feels Like” by Bella White

She has a classic Appalachia sound. But she’s not even from Appalachia. And actually she’s not even from the United States. She’s from Calgary, Canada. And I think that seems fitting though, because there are so many artists, I think of Coulter wall as another one who are coming out of Canada and playing this real proud, traditional country sounding music, but doing it in a little bit of a new way.

“She Just Started Liking Cheatin’ Songs” by John Anderson

I think of Johnny Cash and John Prine and all these amazing artists who were popular for decades and then maybe fell off the mainstream a little bit reinvented themselves and came back later in their career. That’s something that John Anderson has done as well. He’s connected himself to that emerging generation of country singers who have that independent and outlaw streak to them. So this next song is an absolute must for this show.

“I Just Started Hatin’ Cheatin’ Songs Today” by Moe Bandy

It just has that real strong country storytelling element to it. It’s something that we talk a lot about on this show. And the whole reason I love this show is I love going back and finding songs that I haven’t heard in a while and this is definitely one of those songs and also, again, it’s a country song about country songs and not just any type of country songs. It’s a country song about cheating country songs.

“Silver Threads and Golden Needles” by Linda Ronstadt

She’s had a career both in country music and rock music, and in traditional Mexican music as well. The song that we’re going to play I think, is a great example of a country song about cheating. And this song also It talks about being cheated on by a man who tries to fix the situation with with his money and I think it just adds a really interesting element to the to the mix today. 

“The Cold Hard Facts of Life” by Porter Wagoner

The Cold Hard Facts of Life is a studio album by country music singer Porter Wagoner. It was released in 1967 by RCA Victor. The album debuted on Billboard magazine’s Top Country Albums chart on June 10, 1967, peaked at No. 4, and remained on the chart for a total of 28 weeks. The album included the No. 2 hit, “The Cold Hard Facts of Life”. AllMusic gave the album a rating of four stars. Reviewer Dan Cooper called it “good, straight-ahead country” and referred to the cover art as “the hillbilly graphics howler of all time.”

“Married, But Not To Each Other” by Barbara Mandrell

“Married But Not to Each Other” is a song originally recorded by American R&B artist Denise LaSalle. It was composed by LaSalle, along with Francis Miller. LaSalle’s original version became a major hit on the American R&B music chart in 1976, reaching the top 20 that year. It was one of several singles composed by LaSalle that became a charting single. It was later covered in 1977 by American country artist Barbara Mandrell, whose version reached the top five of the American country chart.

“Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town” by Mel Tillis

“Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” is a song written by Mel Tillis about a paralyzed veteran who lies helplessly as his wife “paints herself up” to go out for the evening without him; he believes she is going in search of a lover. As he hears the door slam behind her, he claims that he would murder her if he could move to get his gun, and pleads for her to reconsider. A line in the song about a “crazy Asian war” and the time of the song’s release led to the assumption the song was about a veteran of the Vietnam War, though this was never stated in the lyrics. However, Tillis stated that the song was about a veteran of World War II. “Ruby” was first recorded by Waylon Jennings in 1966. Johnny Darrell reached number nine on the country charts with the song in 1967, and Kenny Rogers and The First Edition released it in 1969.

“I Let Her Lie” by Daryle Singletary

“I Let Her Lie” is a song written by Tim Johnson, and recorded by American country music artist Daryle Singletary. It was released in July 1995 as the second single from the album Daryle Singletary. The song reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, behind “Check Yes or No” by George Strait.

“Suspicious Minds” by Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter

“Suspicious Minds” is a 1968 song written and first recorded by the American songwriter Mark James. After this recording failed commercially, it was recorded by Elvis Presley with the producer Chips Moman. Presley’s version reached No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter recorded the song for RCA in 1970. Their version reached No. 25 on the Billboard country chart in November of that year. The Jennings-Colter version was re-released by RCA in 1976, topping out at No. 2, and was included on the album Wanted! The Outlaws that same year. Their version was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Candi Staton had a No. 31 UK hit with her revival in 1982.

“Now I Lay Me Down to Cheat” by David Allan Coe

David Allan Coe’s fourth album in two years was written and recorded during a period of marital turmoil, and the five songs he composed for the LP reflect this personal upheaval. The first two numbers, “Pouring Water on a Drowning Man” and “What Made You Change Your Mind,” are cry-in-your-beer breakup songs coming to the painful realisation that love is slipping away. The Walt Aldridge-Billy Henderson ballad “Now I Lay Me Down to Cheat” – which was a minor hit for Coe, reaching #62.

“Alibis” by Tracy Lawrence

“Alibis” is a song written by Randy Boudreaux, and recorded by American country music artist Tracy Lawrence. It was released on February 11, 1993, as the lead single and title track from his album Alibis. The song became Lawrence’s second number one country hit in 1993 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.

“She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)” by Gary Stewart

“She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)” is a song written by Wayne Carson, and recorded by American country music singer Gary Stewart. It was released in March 1975 as the third and final single from the album Out of Hand. The song was Stewart’s third top ten hit on the country chart and his only song to hit number one. The single stayed at number one for a single week and spent a total of nine weeks within the top 40.

“How Many Women” by Lydia Loveless

Lydia Loveless is an American alternative country singer-songwriter from Columbus, Ohio. Her music combines pop music, classic country, honky tonk, and punk rock. Loveless grew up on a farm in a rural area outside of Coshocton, Ohio and felt like an outcast in a town that emphasized religion and conformity until she moved to Columbus, Ohio when she was 14. She enjoyed Hank Williams III and punk-influenced country music, while also embracing popular music and rock and roll and “pretty much anything on Kemado Records.”

“Drinkin’ Smokin’ Cheatin'” by Brandy Clark

Big Day in a Small Town is the second studio album by American country music artist Brandy Clark. It was released on June 10, 2016, through Warner Bros. Records. The album was nominated for Best Country Album and the album’s second single, “Love Can Go To Hell”, was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.

“Is It Cheating” by Belle Plaine and Colter Wall

Belle Plaine is the stage name of Melanie Berglund, a singer/songwriter who was raised on her great-grandparents’ homestead near the hamlet of Fosston, Saskatchewan. Belle embodies traditions from country, blues, swing and folk music, while never quite fitting squarely into one category. She’s part charming folk-singer, part honky tonk front-woman and part grizzled bandmom. Whether you saw her in your local roadhouse or singing with a symphony orchestra, you know Belle is a storyteller who embodies the heart of the prairies.

“Long Black Veil” by Lefty Frizzell

“Long Black Veil” is a 1959 country ballad, written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin and originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell. It is told from the point of view of a man falsely accused of murder and executed. He refuses to provide an alibi, since on the night of the murder he was having an extramarital affair with his best friend’s wife, and would rather die and take their secret to his grave than admit the truth. The chorus describes the woman’s mourning visits to his gravesite, wearing a long black veil and enduring a wailing wind. In 2019, Frizzell’s version of “Long Black Veil” was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

“The Carroll County Accident” by Porter Wagoner

“The Carroll County Accident” is a 1968 country song written by Bob Ferguson, and recorded by Porter Wagoner that year. It was a hit for Wagoner and became one of his signature songs. “The Carroll County Accident” won CMA’s Song of the Year in 1969. It has been covered by numerous musicians. The singer tells the story of a single-car accident that occurred near his hometown. The passenger, Walter Browning, an upstanding member of the community and seemingly happily married man, dies; while the driver, Mary Ellen Jones, a woman not his wife but also well respected, survives to testify that she was taking him to town on an errand of mercy. Wagoner’s frequent musical collaborator Dolly Parton covered “The Carroll Country Accident” in 1969, including it on her In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad) album.

“Second Fiddle To An Old Guitar” by Jean Shepard

“Second Fiddle (To an Old Guitar)” is a single by American country music artist Jean Shepard. Released in April 1964, it was later released on the 1966 album, Heart, We Did All We Could. The songs describes a lover who feels neglected after her partner is more interested in his guitar than her, which makes her feel like a second fiddle in comparison. The song reached #5 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

“Cheatin’s A Sin” by Kitty Wells

Ellen Muriel Deason, known professionally as Kitty Wells, was an American pioneering female country music singer. She broke down a barrier for women in country music with her 1952 hit recording “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”, which also made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts and turned her into the first female country superstar. Between 1953 and 1955, Wells was popular on the country charts, and was the only female solo artist at the time to be able to maintain her success. In 1953, Wells had two top-10 hits with “Hey Joe” and “Cheatin’s a Sin”.

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20th century rural sociologist, Carl Frederick Kraenzel, coined the term ‘Yonland’ to describe the in-between places left indistinct and vague on a map. Yonlander is a rural publication designed for those outside the city limit sign pursuing a simple, independent lifestyle.


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