Drake Milligan Shares Five Classic Country Songs Everyone Should Listen To

This five-song list is perfect! 

Written by Jeremy Chua
Drake Milligan Shares Five Classic Country Songs Everyone Should Listen To
Drake Milligan; Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg

Oftentimes, when asked who their influences are, up-and-coming artists in country music would cite Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks or even Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan from the 2010’s country era. It typically doesn’t go further back, since most of the new crop belong to the millennial or Gen Z age group. However, for Drake Milligan, his cornerstone influences span across the 50’s to the 90’s. 

Signed to BBR Music Group/Stony Creek Records, Milligan released his self-titled debut EP in July 23. The rootsy, honky-tonkin’ set proudly displays his deep reverence for the greats that came before him, with influences from Buck Owens, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley and George Strait front and center. 

The 23-year-old Texas native (and undeniable old soul) recently shared with Sounds Like Nashville five quintessential classic country songs every fan of the format, young and old, should know. Check out the list below! 

1. Buck Owens – Together Again

Drake Milligan: Buck Owens has to go to the top of the list. I’ll pick two songs from him- an up-tempo and slower one. The slower one, which I think is amazing, would be “Together Again.” Him and that steel guitar as he sings, “together again…” It’s perfect. I think it’s the quintessential country song. It’s got that sad melody but it’s also a happy song. I love that juxtaposition there.

2. Buck Owens – Act Naturally 

DM: The up-tempo Buck Ownes song would be “Act Naturally” which sounds almost like a rock-n-roll record! It’s really electric and the tempo on it is so cool. 

3. Tim McGraw – Just to See You Smile

DM: This is not an older classic country song, but it’s old enough now and again, it has that juxtaposition that I was talking about. That melody is so amazing. Everybody thinks it’s the happiest song ever, but it’s the saddest song lyrically. I love songs that throw you off like that. 

4. Gary Stewart – Whiskey Trip

DM: One person that I think is underrated in country music is Gary Stewart. He’s from Florida but was known as a Texas guy. “Whiskey Trip,” I think, is such a classic, honky-tonkin’ song. The instrumentation there is so good, and the steel guitar parts are amazing.

5. Eddy Arnold – Make The World Go Away

DM: One of my favorite songs ever is “Make The World Go Away” by Eddy Arnold. Tons of people cut it, but Eddy Arnold had the first hit with it. That might probably top my list of songs everyone has to listen to actually. It’s one of the best songs in country music, ever.

To find out more about Milligan, check out his “Get To Know” feature HERE and stream his debut EP below.