100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time

From architects of the genre like Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers to game-changers Garth Brooks and Shania Twain

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Doug Sahm
Doug Sahm Michael Ochs Archives/Getty60/100

60. Doug Sahm

Most country artists pray for a chance at the Grand Ole Opry stage, but Doug Sahm had to turn down an appearance in favor of his schoolwork when he was just a teenager. Born in San Antonio, Texas, Sahm was a prodigy – he could play almost any instrument, and could have easily gone the route of becoming the new Hank Williams: musical lore puts him on stage with Williams at his last show in Austin before he passed away, creating some sort of spiritual passing of the baton. Instead, Sahm used the Tejano sounds of his home state to sometimes go psychedelic, sometimes roots and sometimes pure rock & roll with his outfit, the Sir Douglas Quintet, which changed the landscape of Lone Star music forever and chiseled his own breed of Tex-Mex blues. "We wanted to be like the Rolling Stones and carry tons of shit in our suitcases and be heavy, you know," he told Rolling Stone in 1971, "and turn everybody on." M.M.

Key Tracks: "She's About a Mover," "Mendocino" 

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