My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 8/14/10: #1 singles this week in country music history

1950: Why Don’t You Love Me — Hank Williams (MGM)

1960: Please Help Me, I’m Falling — Hank Locklin (RCA)

1970: Don’t Keep Me Hangin’ On — Sonny James (Capitol)

1980: Stand By Me — Mickey Gilley (Epic)

1990: Good Times — Dan Seals (Capitol)

2000: What About Now — Lonestar (BNA)

2010: Lover, Lover — Jerrod Niemann (Sea Gayle/Arista)

One response to “Week ending 8/14/10: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Ken Johnson August 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

    The popularity of Sonny James forty years ago cannot be overstated. During the calendar year 1970 Sonny released four singles. Each scored multiple weeks at the top of the country chart. All told Sonny James topped the country survey for 14 weeks of that year.

    “Don’t Keep Me Hangin’ On” was Sonny’s third single of the new decade and interrupted a string of pop remakes. Co-written with frequent collaborator Carole Smith, the song achieved #1 status in Billboard Magazine only 6 weeks after its debut. It earned Sonny his 12th consecutive number one hit and his 16th career chart-topper.

    Though some have taken Sonny to task for recording so many pop remakes, I most always found his interpretations to be fresh and innovative. Sonny wisely chose songs that were familiar but not so closely identified with the original artist that his new version would suffer by comparison. Sonny’s amazing lead guitar picking added a freshness and vibrancy to those familiar melodies. Superb vocal arrangements for the background singers perfectly framed Sonny’s wonderful voice.

    Interesting that two of the #1 songs listed above from this week in country music were remakes of pop classics. Mickey Gilley’s 1980 Urban Cowboy chart-topper was a great take on Ben E. King’s top five 1961 hit “Stand By Me” and Dan Seals struck gold a decade later with his version of Sam Cook’s 1964 top 20 single “Good Times.”

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