Another Year Gone

Our Writers Pick Best of 2000 writers have been thinking back over the year 2000, trying to put things into perspective, recalling treasured memories, deciding which records are worth listening to again in 2001. Herewith, we invite you to have a look at what we thought were the best musical moments of the year, on record and elsewhere.

About a few things, there’s near-consensus: Lee Ann Womack made a wonderful album, I Hope You Dance, and deserved all the success she enjoyed.

We were all glad that Merle Haggard got some renewed respect, and we rejoiced that Johnny Cash made another album, and that it was good. Both men have a lot to say — and a lot to teach younger generations of artists.

The Grand Ole Opry’s 75th anniversary was a lot of fun, and its former home, the Ryman Auditorium, hosted some wonderful moments including a concert by artists who contributed to the soundtrack for the Coen brothers film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Ed Morris, who has strong opinions, proposed a slate of artists for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In honor of the Hall’s transfer to a new location, 10 new members will be named in a special election. We’ll see if Ed can influence opinion.

Shannon Turner recalls dinner with a highly eccentric bluegrass legend. Lisa Young talks about two bands who deserve more success than they’ve had thus far. Michael Gray tells about watching Charley Pride get the news that he was going into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Michelle Nikolai reveals a strange, last-minute preparation for interviewing Dolly Parton. And Jay Orr offers an appreciation of the last work of the late Doug Sahm.

We hope some of this stimulates you and helps you find your way to some good country music, which is the point of this whole thing, after all.