My musical taste runs the gamut, but I probably neglect country more than any genre (aside from like opera or classical deep cuts). I absolutely abhor new style "bro" country, which is mostly just rehashed 50s rock with added twang and very specific subject matter. Numerous jokes have been made about this phenomenon over the last decade (or more), but if it happens that no one ever makes another song featuring pick up trucks, dirt roads, beer, and "my baby girl" the world will survive. I grew up in SC so country was, unavoidably, a big chunk of what I was first exposed to musically. Luckily, I made friends with a guy who, with the help of his older brother, knew about rock and classic rock, and he rubbed off on me so I ended up being one of the weird (weird for the south in 1995 anyway) kids in high school driving around blasting stuff like David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails, The Beatles, Metallica, etc.
That being said, I have very soft spots in my heart for, especially, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. From a songwriting POV, those two are the genuine article in my opinion. I know there are many more of their ilk I have just not researched, but I feel artists like George Jones, Waylon Jennings, George Straight, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, and even newer artists like Clint Black, Garth Brooks, and Dwight Yoakam are all legit legends and great musicians/performers.
As far as Willie, favorites include, well basically everything off of Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be), but his catalogue is vastly prolific. As for Johnny, same thing, he has so much great stuff, but Live at Folsom Prison and American Recordings stand out for me. Seeing his video for his cover of Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt" literally made me cry because it came out around the same time June Carter died, and we knew he wouldn't make it much longer after that.