Although California is often associated with pop and rock music, there are actually quite a few great country songs about the Golden State. Our top 10 country songs about California are in no particular order, as they’re all great and worth a listen. Many of these songs are by classic acts like Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, so if you enjoy older country music then you’re in for a treat. Some of these tunes are country songs about running away to California, while others are more about the state’s beauty. Do you have a favorite country song about California that isn’t mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!
1. The Flying Burrito- Sin City - (The Gilded Palace Of Sin)
Let me just start off by saying that I love this song. While many of the songs on this list are about running away to California or using California as a metaphor for beauty, The Flying Burrito’s “Sin City” is a darker take on the golden state. “This old earthquake’s gonna leave me in the poorhouse, It seems like this whole town’s insane. On the thirty-first floor a gold-plated door, Won’t keep out the Lord’s burning rain.” Kind of creepy but it’s actually a beautiful song!
2. Jo Dee Messina- Heads Carolina, Tails California
Country veteran Jo Dee Messina’s take on California, so be warned that this song will be stuck in your head all day if you listen to it. It’s a fun, upbeat song that depicts California as a warm, sunny place.
3. Rascal Flatts- She’d Be California
Who doesn’t love a nice romantic Rascal Flatts song every now and again? “She’d Be California” compares his girl to the most beautiful parts of California, with lyrics like “She’s a day at the beach in Corona Del Mar” and “Santa Barbara in summer, yeah, she feels like that.”
4. Merle Haggard- A Friend In California
Here’s a great California song from the legendary Merle Haggard entitled “A Friend In California.” The songs lyrics are simple, as the chorus proclaims, “You’ve got a friend in California that misses you.”
5. Kenny Chesney- California
Kenny Chesney’s “California” is the classic tale of a girl leaving her home town to move to the bright lights and warm weather of the golden state- “I’m goin’ to California, A place where the sun always shines. I’m goin’ to California, And I’m leavin’ everything behind.”
6. Gram Parsons- California Cotton Fields
Gram Parsons rendition of “California Cotton Fields” is a fantastic tune, featuring a backing from the Fallen Angels band. The version you will hear above is a live performance recorded in 1973.
7. Roy Orbinson- California Blue
Roy Orbison’s “California Blue” was one of the last songs he recorded before passing away. The song is featured on his final studio album Mystery Girl.
8. Willie Nelson & Lee Ann Womack- Mendocino County Line
Recorded as a duet by Willie Nelson & Lee Ann Womack, Mendocino County Line won a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. It was released on Willie’s album The Great Divide.
9. Johnny Cash- Folsom City Blues
Not much to say about this one, other than Folsom Prison is in California, just 20 miles north of the capital city Sacramento. It’s a classic we all know and had to be included on this list of country California songs.
10. Gary Allan - She’s So California
Gary Allan’s “She’s So California” is similar to Kenny Chesney’s California, but instead of comparing a woman to the beauty of California, Allan compares her to the dangerous and superficial parts of Los Angeles that make the woman seem dangerously seductive.