Although they seem like distant relatives now, R&B and Country & Western used to be close cousins back in the day. In the 1960s and '70s many R&B artists, particularly ones from the South, used to remake Country songs and inject them with a healthy dose of R&B. There's even a name for the mixed genre: Country-Soul. And although you wouldn't know it by looking at contemporary music charts, new Country-Soul albums are still released to this very day. And with that in mind, this list celebrates the best R&B/Country collaborations, crossovers and cover songs from throughout the decades.
Ray was The Genius of Soul, but he also had love for Country music. Modern Sounds
is a collection of Country song remakes originally released as two albums in the '60s. They were packaged together in June 2009.
This is a collection of duets between Country, R&B and Blues artists. "Funny How Time Slips Away" and "I Fall To Pieces" won Grammys in 1995.
1. Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: Vince Gill/Gladys Knight
2. Funny How Time Slips Away: Al Green/Lyle Lovett
3. I Fall to Pieces: Aaron Neville/Trisha Yearwood
4. Somethin' Else: Little Richard/Tanya Tucker
5. When Something Is Wrong With My Baby: Patti LaBelle/Travis Tritt
6. Rainy Night in Georgia: Sam Moore/Conway Twitty
7. Chain of Fools: Clint Black/The Pointer Sisters
8. Since I Fell For You: Natalie Cole/Reba McEntire
9. Southern Nights: Chet Atkins/Allen Toussaint
10 The Weight: Marty Stuart/The Staple Singers
11 Patches: George Jones/BB King
, which was released in September 2006, features vocal performances by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and Patty Loveless alongside Soul legend Solomon Burke.
Percy Sledge is best known for the song "When A Man Loves A Woman," but back in the 1960s he released an album of Country song remakes called Country
. The album was repackaged in 2008 under the name Percy Sledge Sings Country
Millie's one Country album was a flop in the early 1980s, but it's a nice novelty record for fans of hers. The song "Anybody That Don't Like Millie Jackson," with its strong Country twang, is a definite must-hear.
The 2000 album I Am Shelby Lynne
, which is a straight-up modern-day classic, is one of the few releases by a white artist that epitomizes the essence of Country-Soul music.
Liz Toussaint, a black woman from Chicago, once sang in R&B girl groups, but counts the Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain and Jo De Messina among her musical influences.
Joe Tex, one of the great-grandfathers of rap music, also had a great love for Country, as this album shows.