This was one of the most difficult blogs I have tried to write. I am trying to put together a list of the best country bands of all time. There have been so many great ones through the years and whenever you do a list like this it always opens the floodgates for debate. That is awesome. We each have our own taste and opinion.

There are many deserving bands and many that I love that won't make this list. My all time favorite 'country' band is The Mavericks but I did not include them. I love the Kentucky Headhunters as well but did not include them. The Eagles would win hands down if I included them in the 'country' category but I did not.

Here are a few bands that receive honorable mention but did not make my final five. I salute Rascal Flatts, Sawyer Brown, Exile, Restless Heart, Lonestar, Little Texas, Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band and Southern Pacific but they are bubbling right under my top 5.

Here are my top 5 country bands of all time.

5. Diamond Rio - I remember when these guys first hit the airwaves in the early 90's. I believe they were the first band to have their debut single "Meet in the Middle" go all the way to number one. I remember sitting at The Sundance in Fort Collins with the band and having dinner right as they were beginning their legendary and still rolling career.

4. Dixie Chicks - I know this one will stir the pot a bit but I love the Dixie Chicks music. They kicked down the door for the ladies and did something no other group of women had done before...ruled the country music world. They were huge! No one was selling more concert tickets or albums than these ladies the height of their popularity. When it comes to music. You cannot deny the impact of the Dixie Chicks.

3. The Statler Brothers - I grew up with these guys. They hit the radio in 1965 and I hit the earth the same year. The harmonies of these men is the part of the soundtrack of my youth. My parents loved these guys and every road trip we took was filled with their music. From "Flowers on the Wall" to "Atlanta Blue" to "More Than a Name on the Wall", these guys have been pure class and one of the greatest of all time.

2. Oak Ridge Boys - I used to drive around the school at lunch break with "I Wish You Could Have Turned My Head and Left My Heart Alone" cranked up to 10. These guys had so many amazing songs and were cool to just about everyone. They had such huge hits like "Elvira" but my greatest memory will always be standing around backstage at the Budweiser Events Center while the guys surrounded Susan and sang "Sail Away" to her. Pure class.

1. Alabama - There really is no debate here. There has never been anyone who makes country music like these guys. There have been great bands but all of them come in a large distance behind Alabama.