The 10 Best Mel McDaniel Songs of All-Time

Mel McDaniel was a country musician whose career peaked in the 1980s. He was born in the early 1940s. As such, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn he’s one of the people who became interested in a music career after seeing Elvis on TV. McDaniel spent time performing successfully and not so successfully in various places.

Eventually, he secured a record deal in the mid-1970s before breaking through in the early 1980s. That decade was good to him. Unfortunately, McDaniel suffered several health problems in subsequent decades. There was a near-fatal fall in the mid-1990s, a heart attack in the late 2000s, and a case of lung cancer in the early 2000s. McDaniel is no longer around. Even so, he remains well-known for his optimistic-sounding songs. Something that set him apart in the country music scene.

Here is our opinion of the ten best Mel McDaniel songs ever released:

10. “I Wish I Was In Nashville”

Nashville’s status in the country music scene can be complicated. For proof, look no further than the sub-genres centered on challenging its conventions. Still, there can be no doubt that Nashville is the center of the country music scene, meaning it often shows up in country music songs for one reason or another. This song is a superb example from McDaniel’s Take Me to the Country from the early 1980s.

9. “Take Me to the Country”

Given the name, one might guess that “Take Me to the Country” is about the singer’s fondness for the countryside. That isn’t the case. Instead, “Take Me to the Country” is a metaphor for the singer’s romantic relationship with a woman. Something that keeps him happy, even though he works hard for little money.

8. “Let It Roll (Let It Rock)”

Country music is a close relative of rock and roll. As a result, interested individuals might guess this song is about the latter. Funny enough, they’d be wrong. That’s because this song’s a story in which an unhappy railroad worker is forced to scramble to safety because of an incoming train. If anything, the title jokes about how trains have to roll on because they can’t stop suddenly.

7. “God Made Love”

McDaniel has released several slow, ballad-style songs about love. “God Made Love” is one of the best from the lot. It was released in 1977, meaning it was released before McDaniel saw his big breakthrough. Still, it’s telling that the song reached the number 11 position on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

6. “Big Ole Brew”

Amusingly, “Big Ole Brew” isn’t as much of an ode to beer as one might expect based on the name. The narrator is no doubt fond of the stuff. However, it’s critical to point out that he wants two things when he’s in bed after a hard day’s work. One is a beer, while the other is his wife. A fair number of listeners were willing to nod along with the sentiment. “Big Ole Brew” was popular enough to reach the fourth spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1982.

5. “I Call It Love”

“I Call It Love” is another of McDaniel’s ballads. He might not be best known for them. Even so, he was a master at making them. Besides that, “I Call It Love” is a fine example of McDaniel’s skill at incorporating harmonica into his music.

4. “Louisiana Saturday Night”

“Louisiana Saturday Night” is a song for people who want fun in good company. It’s meant for those in a celebratory mood but have no interest in making it more than what it is. As such, “Louisiana Saturday Night” shows interested individuals the kind of unpretentious cheer that McDaniel is famous for.

3. “Real Good Feel Good Song”

It’s possible to imagine someone living their life without ever suffering. However, the chance of that happening isn’t very high. Everyone hurts sometimes. Due to this, the search for consolation is one of the human constants. McDaniel’s proposed solution is music. A preference he shares with more than a few people out there. After all, it’s common for people to use music to cheer themselves up. Sometimes, they opt for the most positive, uplifting songs they can find. Other times, people choose something darker, thus enabling them to vent their negative feelings. “Real Good Feel Good Song” is one of the former. Moreover, it excels at its intended function.

2. “Stand Up”

“Stand Up” was the title track of the album of the same name from the mid-1980s. It’s a neat bit of storytelling. On top of that, the singer makes it easy for people to relate by straightforwardly asking them to do so. No wonder “Stand Up” climbed to the number five position on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart when it was released.

1. “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On”

Unsurprisingly, “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” claims the top of this list. McDaniel had several Top Ten hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. However, he didn’t see the same success in releasing chart-toppers because he just had one. Of course, that’s “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans,” the song that served as the lead single for Let It Roll in 1984. Subject-wise, it’s about someone so attractive that she can cause a traffic jam just by walking past. Sensibly, the singer never tries to describe her. Instead, the song focuses more on how people react to her. It’s no exaggeration to say this is an age-old method for depicting someone that’s fundamentally difficult to describe, which worked well for the song.

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