My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Week ending 1/26/13: #1 singles this week in country music history

stampley_joe158011953 (Sales): I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive — Hank Williams (MGM)

1953 (Jukebox): Back Street Affair — Webb Pierce (Decca)

1953 (Disc Jockeys): I’ll Go On Alone — Marty Robbins (Columbia)

1963: Don’t Let Me Cross Me Over — Carl Butler & Pearl (Columbia)

1973: Soul Song — Joe Stampley (Dot)

1983: (Lost His Love) On Our Last Date — Emmylou Harris (Warner Bros.)

1993: Look Heart, No Hands — Randy Travis (Warner Bros.)

2003: 19 Somethin’ – Mark Wills (Mercury)

2013: Cruise – Florida Georgia Line (Republic Nashville)

2013 (Airplay): Goodbye In Her Eyes — Zac Brown Band (Southern Ground/Atlantic)

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5 responses to “Week ending 1/26/13: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Paul W Dennis January 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Joe Stampley was a good journeyman performer whose chart career ran just short of 20 years. “Soul Song” was Joe’s fourth single on Dot Records and his first #1 (he would have a total of four #1 records on Billboard, one a duet with Moe Bandy(a fifth song would reach #1 on Cashbox). Joe would sign with Epic in 1975, but throughout 1975 and 1976 Stampley frequently had multiple songs on the charts as ABC/Dot contiued to release new singles on Stampley, singles that often did very well (“All These Things” reached #1) and split the airplay with his Epic singles. Joe Stampley singles released from 1/14/75 to 10/31/76 spent a total of 158 weeks on the charts plus there were a few more weeks for a 1974 single and a single that charted on Chistmas 1976. In contrast, Conway Twitty singles released during that same period spent 94 weeks on the charts

    Vocal versions of “Last Date” charted several times – I remember two different lyrics appended to Floyd Cramer’s melody, neither of them any good – the song was meant to be an instrumental. Conway Twitty took this lyric to #1 in 1971 (I believe he penned it) and Skeeter Davis took a different lyric that she and Boudleaux Bryant wrote to #5 in 1961.

  2. Luckyoldsun January 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    I first heard of Stampley from the Moe and Joe duets, but I later explored his own, older work.
    He seems to be part of a genre where country and R&B merged for awhile. I guess Charlie Rich–and later, Ronnie Milsap– had the biggest success in that vein, but there was also Razzy Bailey and Con Hunley.
    Interesting that Stampley was resurrected to appear on the recent Randy Travis anniversary album, though Travis represented a move in another direction.

    • Paul W Dennis January 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Actually R&B and Country intersected at many points prior to R&B mutating into funk (and later disco and rap/hip hop). Louis Jordan (three times) and the Nat King Cole Trio (twice) had country chart hits in 1944 and a good many country artists covered R&B hits and R&B artists covered country hits , Ernest Tubb had a top ten country hit in 1955 with Chuck Berry’s “Thirty Days” , Marty Robbins hit with “That’s All Right Mama” and “Maybelline” and Red Foley hit with with “Hearts of Stone”.

      On the R&B side, Ray Charles hit with “I’m Moving On” (and many more country covers) and R&B artists such as O.C. Smith and Joe Simon hit with country songs during the 1960s.

      Even today, when you have R&B groups more focused on melody and harmony, they might take a stab at a country song – there was a big R&B cover of John Michael Montgomery’s “I Swear” about twenty years ago, and I’ve heard other covers of country songs by more pop-oriented R&B acts

  3. Luckyoldsun January 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    That Carl and Pearl Butler were quite a trip.
    You have a classic, if somewhat mousy looking honky tonk singer for some reason standing in front of what’s either a dominatrix or an escapee from the East German Olympic women’s shotput team.

    I don’t know if that was part of the act–that she’d crack the whip if he dared to “cross over”–or if it was just implicit.

  4. Ken Johnson January 28, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Hank Williams’ life was on a downward trajectory when he returned to Nashville’s Castle Recording Studio after a six month absence. Since his last session his first marriage had ended, he had disbanded the Drifting Cowboys Band and he regularly missed concert dates as his physical condition deteriorated. Hank’s state of mind was reflected in the lyrics of the last song recorded at the Friday June 13, 1952 session. “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” featured Chet Atkins on guitar who later recalled that Hank looked very weak that day and needed to sit down between takes. “Jambalaya (On The Bayou)” was still atop the charts when MGM issued two other singles recorded at that same mid-June session. “Settin’ The Woods On Fire” was released on September 12 followed by “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” on November 21. At the time of Hank’s death on January 1, 1953 the current issue of Billboard Magazine included all three singles on their country surveys. “Jambalaya” topped the Best Seller and Disc Jockey charts while “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” held the #10 slot on both the sales and jukebox surveys. During this week in 1953 “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” became Hank’s first posthumous #1 hit as it edged out “Jambalaya” to top the Best Seller chart

    Marty Robbins signed to Columbia Records on May 25, 1951. Later that year at his first Hollywood recording session on November 14th he rejected all of the songs that had been selected for him by the label. Instead he chose four songs that he had composed because he felt that they were superior. All four were issued as the A & B sides of his first two singles. Neither “Tomorrow You’ll Be Gone” nor the follow-up, “Crying ‘Cause I Love You” charted. Marty’s second Columbia session was in Dallas at the Jim Beck studio on June 3, 1952. Once again all four songs were composed by Marty. One was inspired by his wife Marizona who had initially opposed Marty’s career as an entertainer. “I’ll Go On Alone” was issued as Marty’s third single in October and charted during the third week of December. The record gave Marty his first number one hit when it topped the Disc Jockey chart this week in1953. Marty had to compete with his own song because Webb Pierce recorded a version for Decca in December that peaked at #4 in early March. A pop version of the song released by Eddy Howard for Mercury failed to catch on.

    Joe Stampley first recorded for Imperial and Chess Records before joining a pop band that ultimately became The Uniques. That group released more than a dozen singles and several albums for the Paula label during the mid to late 1960’s. Joe left the group at the end of 1970 to begin his solo career as a country singer on the Dot label. (Joe later re-recorded several of The Uniques songs including “All These Things” and “How Lucky Can One Man Be”) Though his first three Dot singles failed to click his fourth release “If You Touch Me (You’ve Got To Love Me)” gave him his first country hit peaking at #9 in September 1972. His next single “Soul Song” was previously recorded by Tanya Tucker for her debut album “Delta Dawn.” Co-written by Joe’s producer Norro Wilson with George Richey and Billy Sherrill it was the perfect vehicle for Joe’s blues-tinged vocal style. “Soul Song” became Joe’s first #1 hit this week in 1973.

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