country music The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists  

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1.5k votes 369 voters 39.8k views 42 items

List Rules Upvote your favorite honky tonk bands and artists

To many music fans, honky tonk music encompasses if not a subgenre, then is a general name for old school, retro country music. Elements of country music, like a fiddle, steel guitar that emanated in Oklahoma and Texas were present in honky music, as was the ragtime sound. Honky tonks was a nickname for bars that played country western music or in the present day, honky tonks would be simply known as dive bars. Simply put, honky tonk music, even today, remains wildly popular. For some people, honky tonk music was taken to the masses by the Rolling Stones' popular hit, "Honky Tonk Women," which was inspired by honky tonk artists.

So, what are the best honky tonk bands and artists? Any list of honky tonk artists has to include the first family of modern country music, the Williams. Beginning with Hank Williams and moving down his bloodline, they were extremely popular because of their blend of honky tonk country along with elements of rhythm and blues. Additionally, you'll see the likes of Jimmie Rodgers, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver and Loretta Lynn on this list. All of these artists are legends of country music and thus, honky tonk music. This list answers the questions "who are the best honky tonk bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest honky tonk musician ever?"

If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular honky tonk bands that you might've heard of. (42 items)
list ordered by

1
127 16
Hank Williams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Hank Williams Outlaw country, Western music, Folk music

2
67 17
Waylon Jennings is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Waylon Jennings Outlaw country, Country rock, Progressive country

3
71 28
Johnny Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Johnny Paycheck Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Country

4
71 30
Whitey Morgan and the 78's is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Whitey Morgan and the 78's Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Alternative country

5
55 21
Ernest Tubb is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Ernest Tubb Honky-tonk, Country

6
45 17
Loretta Lynn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Loretta Lynn Honky-tonk, Alternative country, Gospel music

7
47 19
Patsy Cline is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Patsy Cline Rock music, Swing music, Rockabilly

8
44 18
Gary Stewart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Gary Stewart Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Country

9
33 13
Webb Pierce is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Webb Pierce Honky-tonk, Country

10
32 16
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Willie Nelson Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

11
32 16
David Allan Coe is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
David Allan Coe Outlaw country, Rock music, Heavy metal

12
33 17
Jerry Lee Lewis is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Jerry Lee Lewis Rock music, Rockabilly, Honky-tonk

13
30 15
Kitty Wells is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Kitty Wells Nashville sound, Honky-tonk, Gospel music

14
47 35
Hank Williams III is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Hank Williams III Outlaw country, Americana, Psychobilly

The Best New Country Artists

15
20 12
Dale Watson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
jonathan-trawick added Dale Watson Country

16
20 13
Billy Joe Shaver is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Billy Joe Shaver Outlaw country, Country

17
16 10
Hawkshaw Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Hawkshaw Hawkins Honky-tonk, Country

18
18 14
George Strait is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
izzymarkem added George Strait Country

19
17 13
Jean Shepard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Jean Shepard Bakersfield sound, Honky-tonk, Country

20
13 9
Jimmie Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Jimmie Rodgers Jazz, Country, Blues

21
22 19
Patty Loveless is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Patty Loveless Country pop, Country rock, Honky-tonk

The Best Tejano Bands/Artists

22
21 20
Confederate Railroad is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Confederate Railroad Honky-tonk, Country, Southern rock

23
14 13
Johnny Bush is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Johnny Bush Honky-tonk, Country, Western swing

24
1 0
Johnny Horton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
spursup added Johnny Horton Rockabilly, Folk music, Country

25
10 10
Don Helms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Don Helms Honky-tonk, Country

26
8 9
Drifting Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Drifting Cowboys Honky-tonk, Country

27
10 13
Cowboy Copas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Cowboy Copas Honky-tonk, Country

28
6 10
Skeets McDonald is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Skeets McDonald Rockabilly, Honky-tonk, Country

The Best Folk Bands/Artists

29
9 16
Ace in the Hole Band is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Ace in the Hole Band Honky-tonk, Country, Western swing

30
3 9
Floyd Tillman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Floyd Tillman Honky-tonk, Country, Western swing

31
3 9
Jerry Byrd is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Jerry Byrd Honky-tonk, Country

32
4 12
Eileen Rose is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Eileen Rose Americana, Indie, Rock music

33
4 13
Honky Tonk Confidential is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Honky Tonk Confidential Honky-tonk, Country

34
3 12
Jeanne Pruett is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Jeanne Pruett Country pop, Honky-tonk, Country

35
4 14
Eilen Jewell is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Eilen Jewell Americana, Rockabilly, Honky-tonk

36
3 15
Owen Mays is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Owen Mays Americana, Honky-tonk, Country

37
0 7
Kevin Banford is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
JustenBrainard added Kevin Banford

38
2 19
Mike Oldfield is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Mike Oldfield Synthpop, Rock music, World music

39
1 15
Henri Herbert is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Henri Herbert Honky-tonk, Boogie-woogie, Rock and roll

40
1 15
Eric
Eric "Red Mouth" Gebhardt Blues-rock, Acoustic music, Honky-tonk

41
1 16
FortyTwenty is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
FortyTwenty Honky-tonk, Country

42
0 12
Ranker Video
jonathan-trawick added Well Swung