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Takin’ You to Fist City

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Women who gave the “Stand By Your Man” classic country girl image the bird

by Stephanie Vossekuil

I’ve always been a fan of ass-kicking in general and when it comes to classic country, unfortunately, some of the most popular ladies in its history have been forced to adopt that southern belle, baby’s mama material, doe-eyed flavor of twang that I find to be particularly distasteful. But there’s more fun to be had out there, with songs that kick that pile of horse pucky aside, sung by women who filled their glasses to the brim with gin and fought hard and strong for what they desired.

Loretta Lynn – “If You’re Not Gone Too Long”
Loretta is true to the one she loves, but she’s a woman, flesh and blood, and knows that hornyness is like a ticking time bomb so you better git on home you cheatin’ scoundrel, you; before she nails someone else!

Dolly Parton – “Dumb Blonde”
Yes, that busty, bottle-blonde country icon knows you think she’s not sittin’ on a full bale of hay, but goddamnit, she’s here to let you know that she’s nobody’s fool and her elevator does go all the way up.

Jeanie C. Riley – “Harper Valley P.T.A.”
Written by that good ol’ singin’ storyteller, Tom T. Hall, this track is about a fiery mama who tells the P.T.A. of her daughter’s school that accuses her of being too promiscuous to take a long one. With Riley’s saucy delivery drenched in raw attitude, it’s no surprise that this track became an instant classic.

The Miller Sisters – “Someday You Will Pay”
Probably one of the more obscure artists on this list, this ’50’s duo eventually moved to a more rockabilly sound, but not before backhanding the tar outta the masses with this catty single. Karma is a regular bitch, and it will have that heart-breaking sucker in tears for what he’s done.

Polly Possum and Joe Wolverton with the Dog Patch Boys – “Don’t Talk to me About Men”
Post WWII country of the hillbilly persuasion was laden with grime and reeking of last night’s booze. This lonesome ditty is no exception. Also, instead of lamenting over the man and what went wrong, Miss Possum wearily sings, “Don’t talk to me about men, just fill my glass up with gin…”

Jessi Colter – “You Ain’t Never Been Loved (Like I’m Gonna Love You)”
This smokin’ hot lady outlaw is most often remembered for her meandering (and quite frankly, annoying) hit song, “I’m Not Lisa”, but on the same side of its debut album, a forgotten sultry number awaits with peering bedroom eyes. Here’s the earliest country song that I can think of where a woman is reveling in her own sexual prowess and exerting a traditionally more dominant role. Jessi Colter will ruin all subsequent sex for you.

[Sorry, couldn’t find a video of Minnie’s version of this one]
Minnie Pearl – “Careless Love”
This old blues classic, the origins of which, are uncertain, was a track that the legendary Minnie Pearl would frequently use to open or close her live shows. The ragtime piano and goofy banter lighten up this otherwise high intensity track that ends with the shooting of said careless love.

Kitty Wells – “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”
In 1952, Miss Wells had an astonishing breakthrough hit with this song. Not only was it one of the first country songs sung by a woman that was actually recorded and widely distributed, but it directly called into question the sexual double standard that was prevalent at the time and essentially blames married men with a wandering eye for that blessed increase of otherwise good-moralled christian women in your local bar.

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