Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Quiz on country music,
Level 2: Ring of fire

Let’s test your knowledge from honky tonk to hillbilly blues. Here’s the second of a three-part quiz on the twang of guitars and accents, compiled by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Michael McCall, John Rumble, and Paul Kingsbury — authors of The Encyclopedia of Country Music. You can still go back and take “Quiz on country media, Level 1: Walk the line.” All this is running up to the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards is this Sunday, April 1st. Can you pass all three levels of our a country music knowledge challenge?

What was Minnie Pearl’s real name?
(a) Sandy Diamond
(b) Judy Canova
(c) Ophelia Acuff
(d) Sarah Colley

Which famous country singer popularized the song “Great Speckled Bird”?
(a) Roy Acuff
(b) Roy Drusky
(c) Leroy Van Dyke
(d) Uncle Dave Macon

What radio show did Ernest Tubb begin broadcasting from his Nashville record store in 1947?
(a) The Midnite Jamboree
(b) E.T. Country
(c) Tubb Thumping
(d) The Troubadour Hour

How is country singer Sammy Kershaw related to Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw?
(a) Brother
(b) Son
(c) Cousin
(d) Not related at all

Which future Country Music Hall of Fame member wrote Jeannie C. Riley’s million-selling 1968 hit “Harper Valley P.T.A.”?
(a) Willie Nelson
(b) Tom T. Hall
(c) Bobby Braddock
(d) Dolly Parton

Which group recorded two albums under the pseudonym Lester “Roadhog” Moran & the Cadillac Cowboys?
(a) Asleep at the Wheel
(b) The Statler Brothers
(c) Kentucky HeadHunters
(d) Highway 101

The Renfro Valley Barn Dance radio program first originated from what city?
(a) Richmond, Kentucky
(b) Dayton, Ohio
(c) Lexington, Kentucky
(d) Cincinnati, Ohio

Who said: “Country music is three chords and the truth”?
(a) Harlan Howard
(b) Sara Evans
(c) Hank Williams
(d) Kris Kristofferson

Who was the first woman to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award?
(a) Kitty Wells
(b) Patsy Cline
(c) Loretta Lynn
(d) Barbara Mandrell

Charlie Rich set fire to the envelope that proclaimed which singer as the Country Music Association’s 1975 Entertainer of the Year?
(a) Olivia Newton-John
(b) Ronnie Milsap
(c) John Denver
(d) Kenny Rogers

What is Nashville session pianist Hargus Robbins’s nickname?
(a) “Hoss”
(b) “Fingers”
(c) “Frog”
(d) “Pig”

What famed Nashville club was one of the main settings for the 1993 River Phoenix/Sandra Bullock film The Thing Called Love?
(a) Bluebird Café
(b) Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
(c) The Station Inn
(d) Exit/In

Which famous studio guitarist can be heard on Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” and Waylon Jennings’s “Luckenbach, Texas”?
(a) Chip Young
(b) Steve Gibson
(c) Reggie Young
(d) Grady Martin

Mark Herndon, drummer for Alabama, was the only member born outside the group’s namesake state. In what state was he born?
(a) Georgia
(b) Tennessee
(c) Maryland
(d) Massachusetts

What country artist recorded a rockabilly single under the name Corky Jones?
(a) Buck Owens
(b) George Jones
(c) Conway Twitty
(d) Glen Campbell

The music festival MerleFest is named in honor of whom?
a) Merle Haggard
b) Merle Kilgore
c) Merle Watson
d) Chet Atkins’s daughter, Merle Atkins Russell

Which country singer’s father pitched nineteen combined seasons for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies?
(a) Deana Carter
(b) Don Gibson
(c) Ronnie McDowell
(d) Tim McGraw

ANSWERS BELOW…

Keith Urban concert at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Photo by J-smith.17. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
AND NOW THE ANSWERS…

What was Minnie Pearl’s real name?
(d) Sarah Colley. Her maiden name was Colley; married name was Cannon.

Which famous country singer popularized the song “Great Speckled Bird”?
(a) Roy Acuff

What radio show did Ernest Tubb begin broadcasting from his Nashville record store in 1947?
(a) The Midnite Jamboree

How is country singer Sammy Kershaw related to Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw?
(c) Cousins

Which future Country Music Hall of Fame member wrote Jeannie C. Riley’s million-selling 1968 hit “Harper Valley P.T.A.”?
(b) Tom T. Hall

What group recorded two albums under the pseudonym Lester “Roadhog” Moran & the Cadillac Cowboys?
(b) The Statler Brothers

The Renfro Valley Barn Dance radio program first originated from what city?
(d) Cincinnati, Ohio.

Who said, “Country music is three chords and the truth”?
(a) Harlan Howard. Bono of U2 much later took Howard’s quote and sang, “All I’ve got is a red guitar, three chords, and the truth.” Also, Sara Evans had an album title by that name.

Who was the first woman to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award?
(c) Loretta Lynn

Charlie Rich set fire to the envelope that proclaimed what singer as the Country Music Association’s 1975 Entertainer of the Year?
(c) John Denver

What is Nashville session pianist Hargus Robbins’s nickname?
(d) “Pig”

What famed Nashville club was one of the main settings for the 1993 River Phoenix/Sandra Bullock film The Thing Called Love?
(a) Bluebird Café

Mark Herndon, drummer for Alabama, was the only member born outside the group’s namesake state. In what state was he born?
(d) Massachusetts

Which country artist recorded a rockabilly single under the name Corky Jones?
(a) Buck Owens

The music festival MerleFest is named in honor of whom?
(c) Merle Watson. Also known as Doc Watson’s son and Eddy Merle Watson.

Which country singer’s father pitched 19 combined seasons for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies?
(d) Tim McGraw (son of Tug McGraw)

Remember to look for “Quiz on country music, Level three: Crazy” tomorrow!

Immediately upon publication in 1998, the Encyclopedia of Country Music became a much-loved reference source, prized for the wealth of information it contained on that most American of musical genres. Countless fans have used it as the source for answers to questions about everything from country’s first commercially successful recording, to the genre’s pioneering music videos, to what conjunto music is. This thoroughly revised new edition includes more than 1,200 A-Z entries covering nine decades of history and artistry, from the Carter Family recordings of the 1920s to the reign of Taylor Swift in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Compiled by a team of experts at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the encyclopedia has been brought completely up-to-date, with new entries on the artists who have profoundly influenced country music in recent years, such as the Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban. The new edition also explores the latest and most critical trends within the industry, shedding light on such topics as the digital revolution, the shifting politics of country music, and the impact of American Idol (reflected in the stardom of Carrie Underwood). Other essays cover the literature of country music, the importance of Nashville as a music center, and the colorful outfits that have long been a staple of the genre.

Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Subscribe to only music articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.
View more about this book on the

Recent Comments

  1. [...] Quiz on country music, Level 2: Ring of fire (oup.com) [...]

  2. [...] of Country Music. You can still go back and take “Level 1: Walk the line” and “Level 2: Ring of fire”. Tonight is the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Are you [...]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *