The late country singer Daryle Singletary leaves behind a stacked back catalog, bolstered by a successful mid-’90s string of hits.
Singletary died unexpectedly on Feb. 12, 2018 in his Lebanon, Tennessee home, cutting short an ongoing career that took the Cairo, Georgia native to Nashville stardom. In the mid-90’s, he followed the lead of Randy Travis and others, bringing traditional sounds to the country music charts. After his Giant Records heyday, Singletary continued cutting tradition-minded studio albums and touring behind these less ballyhooed releases.
The following ten Daryle Singletary songs rank among the best from a lengthy career that got cut short way too soon.
10. “The Bottle Let Me Down”
Singletary tipped his hat to quite a few of his favorite country singers through cover songs, including this nod to the great Merle Haggard.
9. “After the Fire is Gone” (with Rhonda Vincent)
Some of Singletary’s best latter-day output found him teaming with bluegrass artist Rhonda Vincent. This cover of a Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn standard exemplifies the singing partners’ working relationship that included 2017 album American Grandstand.
8. “That’s Why I Sing This Way”
All of this talk about Singletary carrying the country music torch of someone like George Jones is more than speculation. This 2002 autobiographical statement explains how the old time way was part of young Daryle’s raising.
7. “I Knew I Loved You”
One of the more interesting cover song choices by Singletary remains this Savage Garden hit. In his hands, it seamlessly transitioned from a modern pop song to a sentimental country ballad.
6. “Old Violin”
Another memorable cover song in Singletary’s repertoire found him covering old friend and occasional collaborator Johnny Paycheck’s ode to his fellow country music lifers’ tales of sorrow.
5. “I’m Living Up to Her Low Expectations”
A catchy fun song that could’ve been a hit in most any era, it’s hard not to smile or sing along whenever this early cut gets stuck in your head.
4. “Too Much Fun”
Singletary matched the high-energy honky tonk excitement of fellow Georgia boys Alan Jackson and Travis Tritt with this career-making top five hit.
3. “The Note”
The best example of how Singletary’s vocal talents made him a captivating storyteller remains this 1998 hit. Had he stopped making records 20 years go, this is among the songs that’d make it just as easy to round up a worthy top 10 list.
2. “I Let Her Lie”
Sometimes, the slow, sentimental songs best reveal a singer’s true talents. Here, Singletary sounds like a truly great 90’s country vocalist, near the level of Ronnie Dunn.
1. “Amen Kind of Love”
If anything tops a tender country music love song that could’ve been a George Strait hit, it’s a Biblical analogy whittled down to the simplest terms.