Cover art for podcast Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music

Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music

33 EpisodesProduced by Tyler Mahan CoeWebsite

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33 Episodes | 2017 - 2022

CR032/PH18 - Glenn

February 15th, 2022


The end of one story is just the beginning of another.

CR031/PH17 - Choices: George Jones' Last Run

February 1st, 2022


At least this whole story has a happy ending, right? Of course, whether or not that's true depends a lot on your personal definitions of both "happy …

CR030/PH16 - Another Lonely Song: The Tammy Wynette & George Richey Story

January 18th, 2022


Oh, you thought Jones had a hard time dealing with George Richey? Imagine being married to the guy. Today we say one of the saddest and most infuriating goodbyes we'll ever have to say, the one we say to Tammy Wynette.

CR029/PH15 - Hell Stays Open All Night Long: George Jones, Phase III

January 4th, 2022


Oh, you're back to hear more things that will chill you to the bone? Then we can talk about what George Jones' life was like in the period leading up to and through the biggest hit of his career. If you've ever wondered …

CR028/PH14 - Divorce/Death: He Stopped Loving Her Today, The Grand Tour & A Good Year for the Roses

December 21st, 2021


It's a known fact that "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is the best and saddest country song of all time. But... is it?

CR027/PH13 - Billy Sherrill's Nashville Sound

December 7th, 2021


What if the first serious opinions that millions of rock music fans formed about country music were based on a few massive errors which then got …

CR026/PH12 - Loved It Away: Tammy Wynette, On Her Own

November 23rd, 2021


Following her breakup with George Jones, many people had many questions for Tammy Wynette. Well, they had questions for George, too, but he was a …

CR025/PH11 - Being Together: The George Jones & Tammy Wynette Story

November 9th, 2021


Though they were married to each other for little more than five years, the legacies of George Jones and Tammy Wynette are forever inseparable. This is partly due to their unprecedented success with creating music …

CR024/PH10 - Stand by Your Man: The Anti-Feminist Manifesto

October 26th, 2021


Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man" is one of the most well-known recordings in the English language. It was also a plastic explosive detonated at a …

CR023/PH09 - Loneliness Surrounds: Virginia Wynette Pugh

August 10th, 2021


Country music is full of rags-to-riches stories, like the one about how Virginia Wynette Pugh became Tammy Wynette. In a way, it's true. Even after …

CR022/PH08 - Dallas Frazier: Can't Get There From Here

July 27th, 2021


Some of the best songs you've ever heard were written by Dallas Frazier. Don't recognize the name? Don't worry. You'll remember it forever after this episode, especially those of you who love Charley Pride, Elvis …

CR021/PH07 - Pappy Daily, Gene Pitney and How George Jones Came to Be on Musicor

July 13th, 2021


This whole story began with a pinball machine and jukebox mogul in Texas jumping over to the independent record business of the 1950s. When he …

CR020/PH06 - All to Pieces: George Jones, Phase II

June 29th, 2021


In the early 1960s, George Jones had a huge hit record featuring such a phenomenal vocal performance it instantly turned him into a living legend. He didn't handle it well.

CR019/PH05 - Wandering Soul: George Jones, Starday Recording Artist

June 15th, 2021


There are some personalities who would embrace being called The Greatest Country Singer Ever or, at least, settle into the role once it became clear …

CR018/PH04 - White Lightning

June 1st, 2021


In North Carolina, way back in the hills, there's a centuries-old tradition of cooking illegal liquor. Whether you feel that's right or wrong, good …

CR017/PH03 - The Nashville A Team

May 18th, 2021


Now that we've established Owen Bradley as the single most important producer in the history of Nashville, let's take it further and acknowledge he's one of the most important figures in the history of all recorded …

CR016/PH02 – Owen Bradley's Nashville Sound

May 4th, 2021


What if the first serious books about country music contained a few massive errors which were then repeated by nearly everyone who's since used those …

CR015/PH01 - Starday Records: The Anti-Nashville Sound

April 20th, 2021


The story of a little independent record label in Texas becoming "a force" in the Nashville country music industry brings an outsider's perspective to the anatomy of a machine. Going from backwoods honky tonks and …

BONUS: Cocaine & Rhinestones Season 1 Q&A

February 6th, 2018


You might think, "How could anyone finish a season of a podcast like Cocaine & Rhinestones and have questions? That guy saturates every episode …

CR014 - Ralph Mooney: The Sound of Country Music

January 23rd, 2018


The legendary pedal steel guitarist, Ralph Mooney, deserves the reputation he earned on his instrument. However, he deserves a lot more than that. This episode of the podcast backtracks to Bakersfield for a deeper …

CR013 - Rusty & Doug Kershaw: The Cajun Way

January 16th, 2018


Rusty & Doug come from a long tradition of surviving against the odds, against a world that would just as soon see you dead as see you succeed. …

CR012 - Wynonna

January 9th, 2018


Some people think we have all these "authenticity tests" in country music. We don't. But, even if we did, Wynonna would pass them. From somehow …

CR011 - Don Rich & Buck Owens, Part 2: Together Again

January 2nd, 2018


Words often fail to express the connection that can exist between two people. In the friendship of Don Rich and Buck Owens, our notions of reality itself may prove inadequate. With spacetime as our stage, we trip …

CR010 - Buck Owens & Don Rich, Part 1: Open Up Your Heart

December 26th, 2017


Whatever else is true about Buck Owens (and some of it certainly is), he brought hard country music to the world in a time when we desperately needed someone to do that. Sticking to that honky tonk sound from …

CR009 - Harper Valley PTA, Part 3: Tom T. Hall

December 19th, 2017


Behind any story worth telling, you'll always find another story. Maybe if we can get behind some of Tom T. Hall's best stories, we'll find the story about who he is and how he's able to do what he can do with the …

CR008 - Harper Valley PTA, Part 2: Jeannie C. Riley

December 12th, 2017


Jeannie C. Riley's debut single sold over a million copies within ten days of being released but she never wanted to record the song. In the late …

CR007 - Harper Valley PTA, Part 1: Shelby S. Singleton

December 5th, 2017


You think all it takes to make a hit record is to find a good song and get a good performance of it? That's cute. Have a seat and let an old-school …

CR006 - The Louvin Brothers: Running Wild

November 28th, 2017


The way Charlie and Ira Louvin could sing together is downright otherworldly. There's even a special term we had to invent for family (it's …

CR005 - Breaking Down Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee"

November 21st, 2017


The song was just what so many Americans needed at the time, in 1969. Conservatives needed someone to stand up and defend small town, traditional …

CR004 - Bobbie Gentry: Exit Stage Left

November 14th, 2017


In 1967, Bobbie Gentry's recording of a song she wrote, called "Ode to Billie Joe," directly influenced the future of every major musical genre in America. In the early '80s, she disappeared. What happened in the decade …

CR003 - The Murder Ballad of Spade Cooley

November 7th, 2017


Spade Cooley came to California in the early 1930s, as poor as everyone else who did the exact same thing at the exact same time. Only, Spade became …

CR002 - The Pill: Why Was Loretta Lynn Banned?

October 31st, 2017


This episode of Cocaine & Rhinestones briefly examines the history of contraceptive laws in America (Trigger Warning: abortion is discussed) before moving on to uncover the staggering inequality of morality applied …

CR001 - Ernest Tubb: The Texas Defense

October 24th, 2017


Everyone loves Ernest Tubb. So when he straps on a gun belt one night to head across town and snuff out a character named Jim Denny, well, you might …

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