Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
as of April 17, 2024

<< Back to the fan club

Search Past News:

Sort by Relevance Date

Yesterday's News:

04.15.24This Week's News Bulletin
04.15.24Over 1650 Tracks for $100
04.15.24Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
04.15.24New Single: '74 & '78
04.12.24Influential Albums: 1430-1436
04.12.24USBs Include New CD & Latest Single
04.12.24This Week's Bible-Reading
04.12.24Unchained Medley CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Etc.
04.12.24How to Donate Online or by Mail
04.12.24Clues for 2024 Single #8
04.08.24This Week's News Bulletin
04.08.24How to Get the ApX Library, USBs, Multiple Downloads
04.08.24This Week's News Builletin
04.05.24Five Months Till the Big ApologetiX Show
04.05.24Influential Albums: 1423-1429
04.05.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
04.05.24ApX Fan Needs Lung Transplant or a Miracle
04.03.24This Week's News Bulletin
04.01.24New Single: Two-Hit Wonders
03.29.24Bible-Reading Ends Tuesday, Starts Again Wednesday
03.29.24Rock the Bible Finishes Up
03.29.24Easter Season Playlist 2024
03.29.24Influential Albums: 1416-1422
03.28.24New CD BOGO Ends Sunday Night
03.28.24Clues for 2024 Single #7
03.25.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.22.24Influential Albums: 1409-1415
03.22.24This Week's Bible-Reading
03.22.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.20.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.20.24New Single: Top-Five Hits by Four-Man Bands
03.16.24Influential Albums: 1402-1408
03.16.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
03.12.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.09.24Influential Albums: 1395-1401
03.09.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
03.09.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.05.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.03.24New Single: '74 Solo Smashes
03.01.24A Serious Problem We're Trying to Address
02.29.24All About Our Next CD
02.29.24Influential Albums: 1388-1394
02.29.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.29.24Clues for 2024 Single #5
02.25.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.22.24Get Ready for Our Next CD
02.22.24Influential Albums: 1381-1387
02.22.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.22.24Wayne Is Retiring, What's Next for Him and Us?
02.22.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.19.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.19.24New Single: Billy & The Beach
02.16.24Influential Albums: 1374-1380
02.16.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.16.24Remembering ApX Friend Paul "Doc" Nigh (1956-2024)
02.16.24Clues for 2024 Single #4
02.10.24Influential Albums: 1367-1373
02.10.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.10.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.06.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.06.24New Single: '74 & '83
02.03.24ApX Lead Singer/Lyricist Shares His Testimony 36 Years Later
02.03.24Influential Albums: 1360-1366
02.03.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.03.24Latest CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Etc.
02.02.24Clues for 2024 Single #3
01.29.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.26.24Influential Albums: 1353-1359
01.26.24How to Get the ApX Library, USBs, Multiple Downloads
01.26.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
01.26.24Flashback: J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2014
01.26.24J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2024
01.26.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.24.24Checking in With ApX Alum Drummer Fred Behanna
01.22.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.22.24New Single: '70s #1 Hits That Remade '60s Top 10 Hits
01.19.24Influential Albums: 1346-1352
01.19.24Encouraging Message from Longtime Fan in Oklahoma
01.19.24This Week's Bible-Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
01.15.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.12.24Influential Albums: 1339-1346
01.12.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.12.24Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.12.24New Testament Reading Started Wednesday
01.11.24New Worship Songs Available from ApX Alum Bill Rieger
01.08.24New Single: '81 & '83
01.08.24New CD BOGO Ends Sunday
01.08.24New USB Thumb Drives on the Way
01.05.24Clues for 2024 Single #1
01.05.24Influential Albums: 1332-1338
01.05.24Have You Heard About the Other Music City Miracle?
01.05.24This Week's Bible Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
12.29.23Influential Albums: 1325-1331
12.29.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.28.232023: A Record-Breaking Record-Making Year
12.28.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
12.26.23This Week's News Bulletin
12.26.23New Single: 1974 & 2008
12.23.23Influential Albums: 1318-1324
12.23.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week

Influential Albums: 1360-1366
Sat., Feb. 3. 2024 2:24pm EST

J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.

Here are the latest entries in the "albums that influenced me" series I started writing in May 2020.

Note: Just because an album appears on this list doesn't mean I give it a blanket endorsement. Many of the secular albums on this list are mainly there because they wound up being spoofed by ApologetiX.

1360. The Essential Johnny Cash Johnny Cash
The Essential Johnny Cash ... hmm ... isn't that title somewhat redundant? Released in February 2002, this two-CD set came out the same month as Cash's 70th birthday. I believe I bought my copy in April 2003. I recall playing it in the car on April 30 while driving to meet the rest of the guys in the band for an ApologetiX concert in Cape Girardeau MO (I think I'd been visiting my in-laws in Kentucky beforehand). His wife, June Carter Cash, died a couple weeks later, and he followed four months after that. The 36 songs on The Essential Johnny Cash cover a period from 1954 to 1993. The Cash songs I was most familiar with prior to this were "I Walk the Line" (#17 pop, #1 country for six weeks), "A Boy Named Sue" (#2 pop, #1 country for five weeks), "Ring of Fire" (#17 pop, #1 country for seven weeks), and "Girl from North Country" with Bob Dylan. I also knew a little of "Folsom Prison Blues (Live)" (#32 pop, #1 country for four weeks), "Daddy Sang Bass" (#42 pop, #1 country for six weeks), "Jackson" with June Carter Cash (#2 country), and "Man in Black" (#58 pop, #3 country). Furthermore, I was at least aware of "One Piece at a Time" (#29 pop, #1 country for two weeks), and "Highwayman" with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson (#1 country). Those are all great tunes and every one of them was included on The Essential Johnny Cash. Of the rest, my favorites were "Get Rhythm" (the flip side of "I Walk the Line"), "Five Feet High and Rising" (#76 pop, #14 country), "It Ain't Me, Babe" with June Carter Cash (#58 country), "The One on the Right Is on the Left" (#46 country), "If I Were a Carpenter" with June Carter Cash (#36 pop, #2 country), "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" (#46 pop, #1 country for two weeks), and "The Wanderer" with U2. In 2023, I read Pastor Greg Laurie's 2019 biography Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon, which goes into great detail about Cash's spiritual journey, including the holy highs and the loathsome lows. Both extremes were more dramatic than I had ever imaged, but it's a book I highly recommend. The Essential Johnny Cash reached #36 on the Billboard 200 and sold almost two million copies in the States. As a side note, I should mention that I love the remake of "Man in Black" Cash did with the Christian punk band One Bad Pig on their 1991 LP Ice Scream Sunday. Here's a link if you've never heard it and would like to:

1361. American IV - The Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash's stunning late-career resurgence was fueled by a series of mostly acoustic albums produced by Rick Rubin, who had made his name with such decidedly non-country acts as Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Slayer, The Cult, Danzig, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The first volume of American Recordings came out in April 1994, the second in November 1996, and the third in October 2000. Although critically acclaimed, none of them sold as many as 250,000 copies in the United States or made it higher than #88 on the Billboard 200. The fourth volume, however, reached #22 and sold over 1.5 million copies in the States and a million more in Europe. Released on November 5, 2002, American IV - The Man Comes Around got a lot of attention, thanks to a moving rendition (and accompanying video) of the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt," which gave Cash his only hit ever on the alternative chart (#33). The first time I heard it was when I saw the video, so I don't know what I would have thought otherwise, but they were so powerful together. As much as I enjoyed "Hurt," I like the apocalyptic "The Man Comes Around" even better. Although that's my clear-cut favorite, I also was impressed by "I Hung My Head," "Sam Hall," "Tear Stained Letter," and Cash's cover of the Robert Flack hit "First Time I Ever Saw Your Face." There were also interesting takes on The Beatles' "In My Life" and Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus." The latter received a lot of attention, and I was surprised Cash covered it, but the way he sings it, I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 5:20: "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." American IV - The Man Comes Around contained three songs with vocal contributions by other notable singers: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (with Fiona Apple), "Desperado" (with Don Henley), and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" (with Nick Cave). A posthumous fifth volume, American V - A Hundred Highways, arrived on July 4, 2006 (nearly three years after Cash's death), and became his second #1 album, 37 years after the first, Johnny Cash at San Quentin. It sold half a million copies stateside. I'm not as familiar with American V, but I really like the chilling Gospel number, "God's Gonna Cut You Down." Amazingly, a follow-up LP, American VI: Ain't No Grave, appeared in 2010 and made it to #3.

1362. All-Time Greatest Hits Loretta Lynn
In the early 2000s, I aquired a used copy of The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits by Tom Roland. It only covered the years from 1968-1989, but I liked learning about the 848 songs therein, and the titles and stories piqued my curiosity. That book and my recent experiments with Johnny Cash led me to pursue a self-taught, crash course in '60s and '70s country music. It was merely an overview, but I purchased collections by some other notable country stars. One of those was Loretta Lynn's All-Time Greatest Hits, which had been released in May 23, 2002. Believe it or not, that album even made the initial Rolling Stone list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003, and the follow-up list in 2012. There were 22 tracks, from 1964-78. My favorites are "Happy Birthday" (#3 country) and "Fist City" (#1 country), two tunes that I'd put on my list of favorite songs by any artist, country or otherwise. For my next level of Loretta Lynn, I'd probably include "One's on the Way" (#1 country), "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" with Conway Twitty (#1 country), "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man" (#2 country), and, of course, "Coal Miner's Daughter" (#83 pop, #1 country). Another earworm was her final #1 country hit, "Out of My Head, Back in My Bed," which I always assumed was about separated spouses, since so many of her hits were sung from a married woman's perspective, including most of the ones I mentioned above. Loretta never had a Top 40 pop hit — the closest she came was "After the Fire Is Gone," a duet with Conway Twitty that reached #56 in '71 — but she had 24 #1 country hits, five of which were duets with Twitty, who had a total of 40 #1 country hits himself. This may come as a surprise to some, but long before becoming a country star, Twitty even had a #1 Billboard pop hit, "It's Only Make Believe." That single topped the Hot 100 in 1958, and it's quite good. If you heard it for the first time without any identification, you might assume it was Elvis. Twitty's first #1 country hit wouldn't come until 1968. Around the time I bought All-Time Greatest Hits, Lisa and I also rented the 1980 Loretta Lynn biopic Coal Miner's Daughter, starring Sissy Spacek. It seemed like the right thing to do, seeing as Lisa grew up in Kentucky like Loretta, and I was born a coal miner's grandson.

1363. 20 Greatest Hits - Tammy Wynette
"The First Lady of Country Music," Tammy Wynette had only one Top 40 pop hit, "Stand By Your Man" (#19 U.S. pop, #1 U.K. pop), but it was one of 20 #1 country hits she accumulated from 1967-77. That should make the song selection easy for 20 Greatest Hits, right? Well, four of her chart toppers were duets — one with David Houston and three with George Jones — and none of them were included here. Neither was "Another Lonely Song." However, the other 14 were: "I Don't Wanna Play House," "Take Me to Your World," "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" (#63 pop), "Singing My Song" (#75 pop), "The Ways to Love a Man" (#81 pop), "He Loves Me All the Way" (#97 pop), "Run, Woman, Run" (#92 pop), "Good Lovin' (Makes It Right)" (#111 pop), "Bedtime Story" (#86 pop), "My Man (Understands)," "'Til I Get It Right" (#106 pop), "Kids Say the Darndest Things" (#72 pop), "'Til I Can Make It on My Own" (#84 pop), and "You and Me" (#101 pop). The other tracks were significant, though. They included her first country hit, "Apartment #9" (#44); her first country Top 10 hit, "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad" (#3); and three other big hits: "I'll See Him Through" (#2 country, #100 pop), "Womanhood" (#3), and "One of a Kind" (#6). I picked up a copy of 20 Greatest Hits as part of my country-music continuing education efforts. It took a little while for Tammy's voice and all that pedal steel to grow on me, but I came around in time. My favorite tracks are "Stand By Your Man," "Kids Say the Darndest Things," "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad," "Womanhood," "I Don't Wanna Play House," and "Bedtime Story." The title of that last one sounds like it might be naughty, but it's actually a mother talking to her daughter, and it's very touching.

1364. 20 Greatest Hits Merle Haggard
Bakersfield-based singer-songwriter-musician Merle Haggard notched his first Top 40 country single in 1964 with "Sing a Sad Song" (#19); his first Top 10 country single in '65 with "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers" (#10); and his first #1 country single in '67 with "The Fugitive" (a.k.a. "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive"). When all was said and done, Haggard had 83 Top 40 hits, 71 Top 10 hits, and 38 #1 hits on the country chart. He was able to achieve only one pop Top 40 single, "If We Make It Through December" (#28 pop, #1 country). In case you're wondering, his classic "Okie from Muskogee" just missed the cut (#41 pop, #1 country). Released in 2002, 20 Greatest Hits is a pretty good collection but obviously doesn't have every one of his chart toppers. In fact, not all of the tracks were #1 hits, although over half of them were. However, some didn't chart at all. My favorite selections are "Mama Tried" (#1 for four weeks), "The Fightin' Side of Me" (#1 for three weeks, #92 pop), "Sing Me Back Home" (#1 for two weeks), "Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man)" (#1 for two weeks), "Branded Man" (#1 for one week), "Old Man from the Mountain" (#1 for one week), "Carolyn" (#1 for three weeks, #58 pop), "The Bottle Let Me Down" (#3), plus the aforementioned "The Fugitive" (#1 for one week) and "If We Make It Through December (#1 for four weeks). I would have included "Okie from Muskogee" among those, but for some reason, the version on 20 Greatest Hits is live. I had to go elsewhere to get the studio version (which I love), but that would also lead me to more "must have" Haggard hits. You can see a complete track listing for this particular collection at

1365. Down Every Road 1962-1994 - Merle Haggard
In my previous entry for Merle Haggard's 20 Greatest Hits LP, I alluded to another anthology where I finally found the studio version of "Okie from Muskogee" (#41 pop, #1 country), plus more missing pearls from Merle. Released in January 1996, the boxed set Down Every Road 1962-1994 actually predated 20 Greatest Hits by six years and contains 100 tracks. It's a thoroughly comprehensive collection. I confess that I didn't buy the whole thing, but I did cherry pick "Okie from Muskogee" and a dozen other tracks I wanted on iTunes (I got my first iPod in early 2004): "My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers" (#10 country), "Swinging Doors" (#5 country), "I Threw Away the Rose" (#2 country), "The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde" (#1 country for two weeks), "I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am" (#3), "Workin' Man Blues" (#1 country for one week), "Grandma Harp" (#1 country for two weeks), "It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)" (#1 for one week), "I Wonder if They Ever Think of Me" (#1 for one week), "Everybody's Had the Blues" (#1 for two weeks, #62 pop), "Things Aren't Funny Anymore" (#1 for one week), and "Kentucky Gambler" (#1 for one week). Those are some great tunes, and they made me glad I didn't stop at 20 Greatest Hits. My favorites among them besides "Okie from Muskogee" are "The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde," "Swinging Doors," "Kentucky Gambler," "Grandma Harp," "I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am," "Workin' Man Blues," and "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers." ApologetiX eventually played a concert in Muskogee OK on November 19, 2005. We had another show the next day in Quakertown PA, about 1300 miles from Muskogee. With back-to-back gigs and two or three flights between them, when all was said and done, I was probably a little haggard myself.

1366. The Best of Tanya Tucker - Tanya Tucker
There are a number of collections out there called The Best of Tanya Tucker, covering different eras of her career. Released in 1992, this one features all the hits from the singer's early years on Columbia Records. Tucker had the first of those in 1972 at age 13 with "Delta Dawn" (#6 country, #72 pop), a year before Helen Reddy's pop version (#1 pop, #1 adult contemporary). She followed that up with a double-sided #5 country single, "Love's the Answer/The Jamestown Ferry." Then came three #1 country hits in a row — the heartbreaking "What's Your Mama's Name" (#86 pop), the chilling "Blood Red and Goin' Down" (#74 pop), and the controversial "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)" (#46 pop). David Allan Coe, who wrote that last song, said the title line actually meant "Live with me all your life, and then, when I die and you die, we'll be buried together." I like "The Jamestown Ferry," and I love the three that followed, but her next hit is my favorite — "The Man That Turned My Mama On" (#4 country, #86 pop). The music and lyrics are fabulous, with a touching twist, and Tucker's delivery is superb. In 1975, she signed with MCA Records, but Columbia continued releasing singles from their stockpile of her material, although the new MCA singles were getting more promotion and doing better on the charts. Nevertheless, she had four more Top 40 hits on Columbia, and they're on this collection, too: "I Believe the South Is Gonna Rise Again" (#18), "Spring" (#18), "Greener Than the Grass (We Laid On)" (#23), and "You Are So Beautiful" (#40). Of those, I like the bittersweet story song "Spring" the best. If you're never heard "I Believe the South Is Gonna Rise Again," it's another tune that takes a turn you wouldn't expect from the title.