My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 9/17/11: #1 singles this week in country music history

1951: Always Late With Your Kisses — Lefty Frizzell (Columbia)

1961: Tender Years — George Jones (Mercury)

1971: Easy Loving — Freddie Hart (Capitol)

1981: Older Women — Ronnie McDowell (Epic)

1991: Brand New Man — Brooks & Dunn (Arista)

2001: I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight — Toby Keith (DreamWorks)

2011: Barefoot Blue Jean Night — Jake Owen (RCA)

4 responses to “Week ending 9/17/11: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Ken Johnson September 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Freddie Hart spent two decades searching for success. First signed to Capitol Records in 1953 he moved to Columbia in 1956, then Monument Records in 1963, to Kapp Records in 1964 and returned to Capitol in 1970. During his tenure at each label he failed to score even one top ten hit. In 1971 Freddie was dropped from Capitol Records for a second time when three singles failed to even crack the top 40. But when an Atlanta, Georgia disc jockey starting playing a song from Freddie’s “California Grapevine” album, overwhelming listener response convinced Capitol to release the song as a single and they re-signed Freddie to the label. “Easy Loving” was written by Freddie and spent three weeks at number one. It earned the Country Music Association’s “Song Of The Year” award for both 1971 AND 1972. That single began a string of six consecutive #1 hits for Freddie. Success at last!

    Many of Freddie’s early 1950’s Capitol and late 1950’s-early 1960’s Columbia recordings including his original 1960 Columbia version of “The Key’s In The Mailbox” are included on the “Juke Joint Boogie” CD on the German Bear Family label (BCD 16727)

    Ten of Freddie’s Capitol singles including “Easy Lovin'” are available on the CD “The Best Of Freddie Hart” (Capitol/EMI 72438-19030-2-5) Unfortunately a more complete collection that includes ALL of Freddie’s 1970’s Capitol hits has yet to be released.

    • Paul W Dennis September 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      Freddie is poorly represented on CD – I love JUKE JOINT BOOGIE but it’s not nearly enough

      Worth looking for are the 1995 CD issued by the Dutch lable Disky which coupled the albums EASY LOVING and MY HANGUP IS YOU (no bonus cuts or liner notes but still worth having) and a CD issued by Richard Davis Management HART TO HEARTS which has twenty-five tracks covering about twelve of his hits, a few B sides plus some Capitol remakes of earlier sides and two of his Sunbird hits. It sounds to me like about 23 of the tracks are Capitol material

      Bear really needs to do two more CDs on Freddie Hart, one covering his Kapp years (my favorite Freddie Hart recordings – I’ve dubbed all of them to CD) and the other covering his later Capitol and Sunbird years

      • Ken Johnson September 19, 2011 at 9:35 am

        There appears to be some sort of legal/licensing issues regarding Freddie’s 1970’s Capitol recordings. A few years ago Collector’s Choice Music planned a single CD release that included ALL of Freddie’s singles from that era. They even advertised it in their catalog along with the tracklist but then pulled it from their release schedule. (It would’ve been awesome!) I’m told that another domestic reissue label checked into licensing those masters but was likewise roadblocked. Hopefully this situation will eventually be resolved and those recordings will finally be widely available on CD.

        The Kapp recordings are now owned by Univeral Music. My speculation is that because Freddie had no substantial hits and relatively weak album sales during his Kapp tenure they have not considered him for inclusion to anthology series such as their “20th Century Masters Millennium Collection.” (For the most part country artists are not given the same attention as the rock&roll/pop/r&b acts in their vaults.) Too bad because Freddie recorded some great songs during that Kapp era. My favorite was “Born A Fool.”

        The “Hart To Hearts” collection has a great track selection but I was rather disappointed with some technical aspects of the mastering. Some of the songs were needle drops taken from worn vinyl records rather than tape masters, Both “The First Time” and “I’d Like To Sleep Til I Get Over You” suffer from that fate. The pops & clicks on “The First Time” intro is annoyingly noticable . Worse yet the Capitol/EMI “Ten Best” CD used that same version! There’s also horrible tape drag on the first notes of “Easy Loving” on both discs. The cleanest version of that tune is on several Time/Life various artist compilations.

        • Paul W Dennis September 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm

          I agree with your comments about HART TO HEARTS but it is still the best available option at this time (I’ve actually dubbed a bunch of my Capitol discs to CD-R which probably is the best solution if you use blanks mfg’d in Japan by Taiyo Yuden)

          The album on DISKY is licensed EMI recordings – I don’t know if they are from the original masters, but whatever source was used sounds pretty decent

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