Blake Shelton is hosting a special on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio in which he selects his all-time Top 10 country voices. Currently, the list can only be found in alphabetical order, and I keep missing the special. I find the list very interesting. There are obvious choices like George Jones and his lovely wife, Miranda Lambert. I mean, come on, she has to be there, right? I kind of think she'd be on it anyway. But the reason the list is fascinating to me is the inclusion of Con Hunley.

Now, there's no doubting that Blake Shelton is a dyed-in-the-wool true blue country music fan. But it's not often we see Con Hunley pop up on any list involving country music. I'd say he is the least recognizable name among Blake's selections--and by a, ahem, "country" mile. In fact, Con Hunley's biggest chart hit never even made it into the Top 10. It's a song called "What's New with You" and it peaked at #11 back in 1980. So many country musicians listened to a lot of rock 'n' roll in addition to country music as they were growing up. And that's terrific. But I suspect Blake's stereo was heavier on the country if someone, like a Con Hunley, who was never really a big name could have such an influence. After going over the list, I came up with my own personal choices. And it's not easy to do, because some of my all-time favorite artists would not make my list of the Top 5 voices of all time. I know it sounds weird, but those two categories really are not one in the same. And, yes, I said Top 5. Coming up with 10 is hard because then I'd have to make it 20 and then it would get out of control. So I'm going with a Top 5 and I'll include each artist's most effective vocal performance:

1. Merle Haggard - "A Place to Fall Apart" (duet with Janie Fricke)

A song sung so quietly and with such reserve you completely believe they hope no one else ever finds out.

2. Patty Loveless - "You Don't Even Know Who I Am"

I've never heard so much pain and resignation fully realized inside of four minutes.

3. George Jones - "He Stopped Loving Her Today"

Seriously, is there anything I can say that hasn't already been said about what is arguably the saddest song ever recorded? And we all know why that is, don't we? Yep, the legend behind the microphone.

4. Patsy Cline - pick one

Patsy was able to capture the exact perfect tone in every song she ever sang--whether she was in a party mood or in the worst mood of her life.

5. Randy Travis - "Promises"

Here's a rarity--a Travis release in the 80s that missed the Top 10. No matter; he's in peak form here as a guy trying to convince himself that personal changes are on the way, yet WE know and, more importantly, SHE knows they're never going to happen.