The 25 best country songs of all time (+video)

Check out Country Music Television's rankings of the best country music songs ever released.

14. 'Stand by Your Man,' by Tammy Wynette

Wynette's song was selected as the best country song ever released by CMT. Wynette co-wrote the song and it was first released in 1968 as a single. The song became controversial first with feminists in the 1960s and '70s and later on when Hillary Clinton appeared on "60 Minutes" to discuss Bill Clinton's alleged affair with Gennifer Flowers and stated she wasn't "some little woman standing by her man like Tammy Wynette." Wynette's publicist Evelyn Shriver told NPR that Wynette told her, "It's unbelievable to me that a song that took me 20 minutes to write, I've spent 20 or 30 years defending."

"Whatever doubts one may have about the saccharine-sweet sentimentality or the ladled-on lachrymose content, there’s no doubting Wynette’s remarkable voice and the depth of her technical abilities," BBC writer Sid Smith wrote of the song in 2008 on the 40th anniversary of its release.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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