Various Artists

Billboard Top Country Hits: 1967

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The year is 1967 and country music is heading toward its varied yet ultimately crossover-heavy future: The Nashville sound is at its apex, and Merle Haggard and Buck Owens are bringing rootsy good news from the West Coast. One of the best things, though, is the emergence of Tammy Wynette and her early domestic-saga hit, "I Don't Wanna Play House." Like this gem, Wynette's classic duet with David Houston, "My Elusive Dreams," was produced by the master of the late-Nashville sound, Billy Sherrill. So, with Owens and Haggard keeping the honky tonk flame lit with a song apiece and Sherrill guiding many of those production-minded sessions, George Jones finds the middle ground between the raw and pop ends of country with his slick yet rough-around-the-edges weepie "Walk Through This World With Me." Order another beer and dance that last slow one before closing time.

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