Discover a list of the best country songs about the great state of Tennessee.
Covers and Their Originals
“Tennessee Whiskey” – Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton compares his love to being smooth as “Tennessee Whiskey” along with other alcoholic beverages. While the song doesn’t express his love for the state, it’s more about the fact that the best whiskey comes from the state and it’s so good that his lady is better than it.
The song was originally recorded by David Allan Coe in 1981. Linda Hargrove and Dean Dillon wrote it for his album of the same name. George Jones later recorded his own take on the song in 1983 and it reached No. 2 on the Hot Country Singles chart. Stapleton’s rendition went viral and is now 6x certified Platinum.
“Tennessee Stud” – Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash knows how to pick a tune. The song was originally written and recorded by Jimmy Driftwood in 1959. The song tells the story of a classic tale of a man and his stallion that he named “Tennessee Stud.” The man and his horse travel the country to explore and partake in adventures before having a good ol’ shootout because a stranger insulted his home state. The duo becomes homesick and returns back to their TN roots. Both the man and horse settle down and start families.
Cash is just one of the artists that has covered this timeless hit. Hank Williams Jr., Nitty Gritty Band, Chris LeDoux, Chet Akins, among countless others. Ironically, it was Eddy Arnold who’s version become a Top 5 smash on the Billboard charts. He was nominated for his rendition at the 1959 Grammys in country and folk categories.
“Tennessee Waltz” – Patti Page
Did you know the great state had a waltz? It was released in 1948 by Pee Wee King. His original reached No. 3 on the country charts and No. 30 on the pop chart that year. Patti Page made the song famous in 1950 with her rendition. It reached No. 1 on the pop charts and No. 2 on the country charts.
Page became a household name as her cover became the biggest-selling song in Japan. In 1965, Tennessee made the track their official state song.
Since the original, countless artists from numerous genres have recorded the tune. Lacy J. Dalton’s rendition reached No. 18 on the charts in 1980. Cowboy Copus reached No. 3 and Roy Acuff reached No. 12 in the same year, 1948.
Straight Up Tennessee Influence
“Tennessee Homesick Blues” and “Tennessee Mountain Home” – Dolly Parton
Queen Dolly Parton is always inspired by her home state, and it shows in her music.
“Tennessee Homesick Blues” was featured on the 1984 soundtrack for the movie Rhinestone. It reached No. 1 on the country charts in the United States and Canada. Parton earned her tenth nomination in the Grammy Awards category for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
“Tennessee Mountain Home” is the single and the name of Parton’s eleventh studio album. The artwork for the record included an image of Parton’s childhood home. The album was somewhat of a concept as it covered her love for the area and how it influenced her. The anthem eventually became the theme song for her Dollywood theme park.
“Back to Tennessee” – Billy Ray Cyrus
This song was famously featured in Hannah Montana The Movie where Cyrus performed as his character, Robby Ray Stewart. In 2009, he released it as the second single for his eleventh studio album. Cyrus co-wrote the tune alongside Tamara Dunn and Matthew Wilder.
Furthermore, the song was autobiographical and fit well for the film as well. The lyrics tell the story of a man realizing he needs to find his way back to his home and his roots. Cyrus moved to Los Angeles to film his daughter’s Disney Channel show and frequently spoke about his longing for The South.
“Southern Comfort Zone” – Brad Paisley
“Southern Comfort Zone” was written by Brad Paisley, Kelley Lovelace, and Chris DuBois. It debuted in 2012 and was featured on his record, Wheelhouse. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and No. 54 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The track gives its dues to other iconic locations throughout the globe but at the end of the day, it all goes back to The South. You’ll hear Southern staples with snippets including a NASCAR race, Brentwood Baptist Church choir, The Andy Griffith Show, and Jeff Foxworthy.
“Tennessee River” – Alabama
Alabama recorded Randy Owen’s “Tennessee River” back in 1980. The tune was off of their record, My Home’s in Alabama, their first record through RCA Nashville. This marked the band’s first No. 1 on the Hot Country Singles chart.
The band sings about growing up at the border of Tennessee and being mountain men from The South.
“Tennessee Rose” – Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris calls her man her”Tennessee Rose.” The song is a beautiful love song that has truly timeless lyrics. Karen Brooks and Hank DeVito wrote the unforgettable tune. The song debuted in 1982 as the second single from her record, Cimarron. It peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
“Tennessee River Run” – Daryl Worley
Daryl Worley co-wrote “Tennessee River Run” alongside Steve Leslie. It was featured on his 2003 album, I Miss My Friend. Worley sings about a long workday and wanting to retreat to the river where they can go fishing and just enjoy the Southern outdoors. Finally, the track reached No. 31 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart
“This Ain’t Tennessee” – Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks released his TN anthem in 1998 on his record, The Limited Series. The box set featured a bonus track from each one of his albums. This track was originally intended for No Fences and was written by Larry Bastian and James Shaw. Brooks sings about a new love that isn’t his woman and a new place that is nowhere near the great state.
“Tennessee” – Marty Stuart & The Fabulous Superlatives
Marty Stuart is arguably the state’s very own ambassador. The song is guitar-driven and the perfect singalong to get your boots stomping. He’s performed it live in concerts but unfortunately, it is not available on streaming services.