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by Linda Ryan

May 17, 2013

Radio: '90s Country

by Linda Ryan  |  May 17, 2013

Remember the '90s? Those were the years that gave us stars such as Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and country crossover babe Shania Twain. It was a decade dominated by "hat acts," many of whom offered a back-to-basics, neo-traditionalist sound. At the time, the sparse, honky-tonk-influenced style stood in direct contrast to the glossy Urban Cowboy phenomenon that saturated most of the 1980s. But it was just the salve country music fans -- and Nashville record labels -- needed.

Leading the charge of new traditionalism was Texas real-life cowboy George Strait, who has been ratcheting up No. 1 hits for decades now. With artists like Randy Travis, Alan Jackson and Clint Black among them, the "hat acts" revitalized the stagnant industry, and provided the '90s with some of the most beloved country songs to date. Remember Garth Brooks' "Thunder Rolls"? How about Tracy Byrd's "Watermelon Crawl"? Jo Dee Messina's "Bye, Bye"? We could go on, but we think it makes more sense to just hit play and enjoy the heyday of "hat acts" on '90s Country Radio.

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