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The Best 10 Rodney Crowell Songs, Ranked

Posed portrait of American country singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell in Nashville, Tennessee in 1990. (Photo by Beth Gwinn/Redferns)

Singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell has been around the music industry for over four decades. He's won Grammys, written 15 No. 1 hits, and has scored five No. 1 hits of his own! Crowell has written hits for Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Keith Urban, Bob Seger, Etta James, the Grateful Dead, John Denver and Jimmy Buffett. With all of his successes, it's no surprise that he's a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Here are our picks for the 10 best Rodney Crowell songs.

10. "Ashes By Now"

"Ashes By Now" was originally recorded by Crowell in 1978. (You can hear Ricky Skaggs playing the fiddle.) It was first released as the b-side single to his song "Elvira." It was re-released in 1980 as an A-side single, and it became a small hit on the Billboard charts. The song didn't become a massive hit until LeeAnn Womack released it on her 2000 record I Hope You Dance. Womack's version peaked at No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and hit No. 45 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

9. "Lovin' All Night"

"Lovin' All Night" was the first single from Crowell's 1992 record Life Is Messy. The song peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard charts. In 2003, Patty Loveless released the song and took it to No. 18 on the charts.

8. "If Looks Could Kill"

This song was released in 1990 as the second single from Crowell's album Keys to the Highway. The song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in May 1990.

7. "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight"

Rodney Crowell and Donivan Cowart penned this tune together. Crowell released the song on his 1978 record Ain't Living Long Like This. Emmylou Harris released the song on her 1978 record Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town. Less than a year later, The Oak Ridge Boys released the song as the third single from their album The Oak Ridge Boys Have Arrived. It shot to No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

6. "Many A Long and Lonesome Highway"

Crowell wrote this song with songwriter Will Jennings. He released it in 1989 as the first single from his record Keys to the Highway. The song reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in January 1990.

5. "It's Such A Small World"

"It's Such a Small World" was recorded by Crowell and his wife at the time, country music artist Rosanne Cash. It was released in 1988 as the lead single from Crowell's Diamonds & Dirt album and rose to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart. The official music video for the song was recorded on the couple's honeymoon.

4. "I Couldn't Leave You If I Tried"

This ode to unconditional love from Diamonds & Dirt was another Crowell single to go No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

3. "After All This Time"

"After All This Time" was released in 1989 as the fourth single from the album Diamonds & Dirt. It rose to No. 1 on the charts and won Crowell a Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1990.

2. "Above and Beyond"

This song is an old country standard written by Harlan Howard. Buck Owens took the song to No. 3 in 1960, and it was the first song Crowell learned to sing as a child. Crowell's cover of "Above and Beyond" shot to the No. 1 spot, and he made history by becoming the only artist to reach No. 1 with five songs from the same record.

1. "She's Crazy For Leaving"

Crowell wrote this song with Texas songwriting legend Guy Clark. He released it as the third single from his 1988 record Diamonds & Dirt. As you can guess, the song went No. 1 on the charts. However, Crowell wasn't the first artist to record the song! Clark released the tune on his 1981 record The South Coast of Texas, which Crowell produced.

Honorable Mentions:

"Shame On The Moon"

"The Traveling Kind"

"Bluebird Wine"

"What Kind of Love"

"Til I Gain Control Again"

"Song for the Life"

"I Walk the Line"

"Even Cowgirls Get The Blues"

"Stars on the Water"

 

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The Best 10 Rodney Crowell Songs, Ranked