Country Music The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists  

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2.3k votes 483 voters 41.9k views 42 items

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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
153 45
Hank Williams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Western music, Folk music

2
99 27
Gary Stewart is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Country

3
86 38
Waylon Jennings is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Country rock, Progressive country

4
73 31
Ernest Tubb is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Honky-tonk, Country

5
64 25
Loretta Lynn is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Honky-tonk, Alternative country, Gospel music

6
89 46
Johnny Paycheck is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Country

7
81 44
Whitey Morgan and the 78's is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Honky-tonk, Alternative country

8
60 29
Patsy Cline is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Rock music, Swing music, Rockabilly

9
46 18
Webb Pierce is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Honky-tonk, Country

10
44 21
Kitty Wells is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Nashville sound, Honky-tonk, Gospel music

11
47 27
David Allan Coe is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Rock music, Heavy metal

12
47 29
Jerry Lee Lewis is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Rock music, Rockabilly, Honky-tonk

13
44 30
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music

14
53 49
Hank Williams III is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Americana, Psychobilly

15
29 23
George Strait is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
izzymarkem added Country

16
27 22
Billy Joe Shaver is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Outlaw country, Country

17
20 16
Jimmie Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Jazz, Country, Blues

18
23 20
Jean Shepard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Bakersfield sound, Honky-tonk, Country

19
11 6
Johnny Horton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
spursup added Rockabilly, Folk music, Country

20
23 22
Dale Watson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
jonathan-trawick added Country

21
20 19
Hawkshaw Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Honky-tonk, Country

22
23 28
Patty Loveless is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Country pop, Country rock, Honky-tonk

23
12 14
Drifting Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Honky-tonk, Country

24
17 21
Johnny Bush is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Honky-tonk, Country, Western swing

25
13 16
Don Helms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Honky Tonk Bands/Artists
Honky-tonk, Country