17 Country Songs That Would Make Great Movies - Rolling Stone
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17 Country Songs That Would Make Great Movies

From Billie Joe to Jolene, country’s greatest casts of characters, along with our wish list for actors to play them

keith urban dolly parton robert earl keen

Kevin Winter/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM; Valerie Macon/Getty Images; Erika Goldring/WireImage

From Glen Campbell’s performance in the original True Grit to Dwight Yoakam’s creepy, critically-applauded turn in Sling Blade, country stars have a long history of appearing in the movies. They also have an equally lengthy history of writing songs that could be adapted into screenplays. Maybe it’s the stories they tell, or the way the bright twang of a Telecaster guitar can evoke images of wide-open landscapes and rundown, roadside saloons, but country music can sound downright cinematic when it wants to. Most of these songs haven’t received the silver screen treatment — yet — but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve it.

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Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, “Switchblade”

A slow-building epic about a heist in the American southwest, "Switchblade" feels like the Arizonan equivalent of Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City." In the Peacemakers' song, though, the narrator has already pulled off the crime. He keeps a low profile for a year, waiting for his two accomplices to come out of hiding, only to learn that they were killed by the very same weapon — a cheap, Mexican switchblade — that helped them commit the crime in the first place. Hey, Cormac McCarthy: wanna write this screenplay?

Suggested actors: Daniel Day Lewis as the narrator

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Jeannie C. Reilly, “Harper Valley PTA”

Who doesn't like a good revenge story? Released in 1968, Jeannie C. Riley's signature song topped the pop and country charts with its tale of a minidress-wearing housewife who confronts the PTA of her daughter's high school, blasting them for scrutinizing her child-raising techniques. It's Mermaids meets Mean Girls, laced with enough attitude and suggestive clothing to warrant at least a PG-13 rating.

Suggested actors: Sarah Jessica Parker as the mother, Elle Fanning as the daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard as the PTA head

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