Radio.com Essentials: Perusing the Classic Country Stacks With Sheryl Crow

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Just because Sheryl Crow’s transition into the country music world is relatively recent doesn’t mean she doesn’t have strong opinions about the genre. The Missouri-bred singer/songwriter grew up listening to country, after all — roots that show on her new album, Feels Like Home.

When Crow sat down recently with Radio.com and perused our vinyl collection, it wasn’t so surprising that she gravitated toward country legends. Watch above, as Crow discusses her personal relationship with Johnny Cash & June Carter-Cash, her love of George Jones’ voice, the impact Tammy Wynette’s songs had on her as woman, being an outlaw like Waylon Jennings, why Jessi Colter is her bad-ass inspiration, and her crush on Merle Haggard.

Related: Sheryl Crow Mixes Old and New For Her Country-Tinged Album ‘Feels Like Home’

What Crow said about…

Johnny Cash
“To me, he’s also one of the architects of rock ‘n roll. You know, that famous picture of him flipping off Jim Marshall, the photographer. I don’t know if there’s anything more rock ‘n’ roll than that.”

George Jones
“I want that outfit!” she said, looking at the cover art for I Am What I Am. ”Come on people. A man who is not afraid to wear a wide-collared, flowered shirt. He has, unequivocally, one of my favorite voices of all time.”

Tammy Wynette
“‘D.I.V.O.R.C.E.’…and ‘I Don’t Want To Play House’ — these songs…and what Loretta [Lynn] did, they broke the barriers about what women were supposed to be singing about. Divorce was a taboo and just like ‘The Pill’…coming into the ’60s, these were topics that women were talking about.”

Waylon Jennings
“I think at the end of the day we all kind of see ourselves as outlaws because it is an aspect to all of us. Even if we don’t get out and raise hell, there’s a part of us that wishes that’s who we were. And we live vicariously through these guys.”

Jessi Colter
“Just looking at her, she was a bad-ass. For female country singers and songwriters…she’s such a great reference if you’re trying to do that female outlaw thing.”

Merle Haggard
“Merle had this interesting story of having served time. Then when you saw him, he looked like Montgomery Clift: just this beautiful blue-eyed singer writing about the railroad and songs about having lived that life. And yet he was just this gorgeous, gorgeous man.”

Then watch her perform her first country single, “Easy,” live from KMLE’s 8 Man Jam (a Radio.com station) below.

- Courtney E. Smith, Radio.com