Greatest C&W Band

Holy Sh*t.....I haven't responded to any of buddies on Audiogon in awhile......but.....since my divorce I haven't been on a even keel in awhile....nor sane.....but I will say this..... is isn't half bad...but that is my drunken opinion...The only really good thing about this, I have listened to lots...and lots of music....not just classical (Schubert is still my favorite).....but lots of my old stuff.....what is so funny,.....after Hank Williams,Sr (both Albert Porter agree..that is about Hank) the greatest C&W BAND is the Rolling Stones....yeah.....the Rolling Stones...I always thought they were the greatest rock and roll band behind the Yardbirds...but in my recluseness(?) I have reaccessed the Rolling Stones.... not only are they still a great rock band...but perhaps... maybe because of their nature even a greater C&W band... After Honky Tonk Blues by Hank....I can't conceive of any other C&W songs that are as "real" as Rolling Stones C&W songs....Even Keith admits that he loves Hank,Sr.... So what is your favorite C&W song by the STONES....mine... I have a million...but....if you ask in private...Sweet Virgina....Exile on Main St......scrape the sh*t off my shoes.....
Man, you are drunk.
Also a Great R&b Band,Blues and Jammed out good on Sticky Fingers and had some of the best Disco songs as well.Jagger and Richards,2 of the best song writers around for years.One of the pioneering English Bands that sent The Blues back to America.Guess their roots are Blues/Country. Wild Horses my Country pick if I can't pick Sweet Virginia.
The Stones definitely have Country and Western influences, but IMHO the blues run much deeper for them. However, based on your criteria, "Sweet Virginia" would probably be my favorite also. Not only for the tune but in honor of my aunt (my Dad's only sibling) who died of Alzheimers at a terribly young age.
" Salt of the Earth" would be my selection. More of a ballad, reminds me of Marty Robbins. Just a great tune.
Elvis and the Jordinaires
The stones are good. But really, in the end, their just a bunch of fairly well off white kids from british suburbia trying to emmulate the likes of chuck berry and the other black poor oppressed down and out bluesmen who really had "the blues." So don't go looking to them for any authenticity.

As for C&W forget it. Stick with Hank Sr.
I like "Dead Flowers".
The Country Honk version on 'Let it Bleed' was the original way Jagger and Richards wrote the song. A "Hank Williams/Jimmy Rodgers" kind of song. Richards credits Mick Taylor as the one who gave the song that funky sound when they recorded it as the single 'Honky Tonk Woman'.
Yeah, the country seeds Gram Parsons planted in Keith bore fine musical fruit. Many of the songs in their quasi country genre are among their finest. I'm really partial to Dwight Yoakam's music also. He and Pete Anderson really created some fine neo-country that manages to sound classic, timeless, and contemporary at the same time.
I've loved the Rolling Stones since 1965 (even bought their expensive Import vinyl at Lewin's Records on Hollywood Blvd, so I could hear the long version of 2120 So. Michigan Ave, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Long, Long While, Fortune Teller, etc.)and I like some of their C&W inspired tunes like "High and Dry", "Send Me Dead Flowers", but they're no match for "Merle Haggard and the Strangers", IMO.
Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

Ye Haw!
I made a compilation disc of all "country" sounding Stones songs from many various Stones discs. I call it Country Stones, it's quite good having all these songs together on one disc.
the charlie daniels band .
Anyone think Dire Straits qualifies?
For new straight up C&W try The Hacienda Brothers.
The Derailers 'REVERB DELUXE' is super, but I've found a few other's which satisfy too...

Like "Slim Chance and the Can't Hardly Playboys" on the "No Cjhance" album featuring:

'I Can't Get Over Her, While She's Still Under Him.'

'I Think My Wife and Your Girlfriend, is Cheatin' On Us Again'

'If the Phone Don't Ring You'll know It's Me.'

...and my personal fav... I'm Still Missing You... but My Aim is IMproving'

Naturally, Billy Joe Shaver, Willie, Merele, & The Flatlanders.

In the end I found it awfully hard to beat Tommy and Toy Caldwell's band.
I second Blindjim's recommendation for the Derailers. I wouuld also add their "Full Western Dress" CD. Both of these Cds were produced by Dave Alvin (The Blasters). They are truly excellent recordings that have the "Bakersfield" sound.