Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music podcast

Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music

Step right up. Come on in.

Step right up. Come on in.



ANNOUNCEMENT: Book Adaptation of Season 2

Season 2 has been adapted into a book from Simon & Schuster, available now ... Read more

19 Feb 2024



19 Feb 2024


CR032/PH18 - Glenn

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

15 Feb 2022

1 HR 37 MINS


15 Feb 2022


CR031/PH17 - Choices: George Jones' Last Run

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 ending" and "whole story" but, either way, today we reach the final chapter of George Jones' life. Don't worry, it'll all be over soon. ... Read more

01 Feb 2022

2 HR 45 MINS


01 Feb 2022


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

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. ... Read more

18 Jan 2022

2 HR 21 MINS


18 Jan 2022


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

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 what it's like to be afraid of a demonic duck or try murdering your best friend to test the existence of God, well, these are questions only George Jones can answer but just asking them makes for one jaw-dropping and heartbreaking story. ... Read more

04 Jan 2022

1 HR 47 MINS


04 Jan 2022


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

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

21 Dec 2021

2 HR 15 MINS


21 Dec 2021


CR027/PH13 - Billy Sherrill's Nashville Sound

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 passed down to future generations? How long do you think it would take for society to build a fundamentally flawed history of an entire genre on top of such a foundation? Fifty years? Well, that's exactly what happened. Billy Sherrill's name means nothing to many country music fans. Some recognize it from the album credits of a few of their favorite country artists. Others manage to cast him as an enemy of the genre. But anyone who hears the name Billy Sherrill and thinks anything less than "he's one of the most important producers in the history of Nashville, who made some of the greatest and most influential records of all time in any genre" has not been given enough information about the man or the music. That changes today. ... Read more

07 Dec 2021

2 HR 48 MINS


07 Dec 2021


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

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 little harder to get in touch with, trying to drink himself onto a separate plane of reality from his conscious mind and all. So the questions went to Tammy. And she had answers. Then more answers. And more... And more. It's never been easy for ladies in country music. Here's how it became for The First Lady. ... Read more

23 Nov 2021

1 HR 35 MINS


23 Nov 2021


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

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 "based on the true story" of a romance between two artists, to such a degree that decades later there are still millions of fans who believe George and Tammy never stopped being in love with each other. If it's difficult to say where the line is between art and artist, public and private, fiction and fact, then it's only because there was a coordinated effort from perhaps a dozen people working to bury that line beneath a mountain of hit records and royalty checks. ... Read more

09 Nov 2021

1 HR 51 MINS


09 Nov 2021


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

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 sea change moment in United States politics and culture. Look around. We're still picking up the pieces. ... Read more

26 Oct 2021

1 HR 55 MINS


26 Oct 2021


CR023/PH09 - Loneliness Surrounds: Virginia Wynette Pugh

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 becoming the most successful woman country singer at that point in history, the life she lived was hard and painful. But if you want to know what actually happened in that life then she's the last person you should ask. ... Read more

10 Aug 2021

1 HR 43 MINS


10 Aug 2021


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

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 Presley, Merle Haggard, Connie Smith, Charlie Rich, George Jones, The Oak Ridge Boys, Emmylou Harris, Gene Watson, Tanya Tucker, Bobby Bare, Stoney Edwards, The Beach Boys, Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson... You get the point. Here's the story. ... Read more

27 Jul 2021

2 HR 01 MINS


27 Jul 2021


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

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 hitched his wagon to a Singing Marine who became the Greatest Country Singer Ever, it served Pappy Daily well through the following decade. Then, out of nowhere, the ride suddenly ended. "What went wrong?" is the obvious question to ask, here, but it's not the right one. We need to talk about who went wrong. The answer nearly everyone's accepted for going on 40 years now is demonstrably untrue but we can only learn the truth through a deep dive on the country music record industry of the 1960s and by taking a look at how the careers of 2 international pop stars built a throne for The King of Broken Hearts. ... Read more

13 Jul 2021

2 HR 16 MINS


13 Jul 2021


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

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. ... Read more

29 Jun 2021

1 HR 42 MINS


29 Jun 2021