THE 40 GREATEST WOMEN OF COUNTRY MUSIC was an excellent three-part special on CMT hosted by actor Billy Campbell charting the (alleged) 40 greatest female names in country music history. You will undoubtedly dispute much of the chart rankings but the vintage footage snippets, interviews, and comments from their contemporaries are highly entertaining and make this a terrific show. The top four are pretty air-tight choices although I suspect many will argue with the order they are in; similarly, many will likely be quite surprised how high some placed and how startlingly low others came in. Most disappointing is the failure for such iconic names as Sara Carter, Skeeter Davis, Jean Shepard, Patti Page, Olivia Newton-John, Jeannie C. Riley, and Donna Fargo to make the chart but then the top 40 is pretty solid and there are only perhaps two names who shouldn't be on the list. I would have like to have seen a top 50 instead which would have had room for nearly all of the important female entertainers and songwriters of the 20th century but as it stands this is a pretty good history and is recommended.
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