My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 11/5/11: #1 singles this week in country music history

1951: Slow Poke — Pee Wee King & His Golden West Cowboys (feat. Redd Stewart) (RCA)

1961: Walk On By — Leroy Van Dyke (Mercury)

1971: How Can I Unlove You — Lynn Anderson (Columbia)

1981: Never Been So Loved (In All My Life) — Charley Pride (RCA)

1991: Anymore — Travis Tritt (Warner Bros.)

2001: Where I Come From — Alan Jackson (Arista)

2011: God Gave Me You — Blake Shelton (Warner Bros.)

2 responses to “Week ending 11/5/11: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Ken Johnson November 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Technically “Slow Poke” is one the best produced country songs of the early 1950’s. Compared to many other songs from that era the sonic clarity is quite remarkable. Recorded on March 14, 1951 at RCA Victor studios in Chicago it clearly demonstrates the advantage of recording on magnetic tape as opposed to discs made with 78 RPM cutting lathes. It’s most unfortunate that Nashville’s Castle Studio did not have magnetic tape recording capability when Hank Williams was creating his legendary hits.

    Pee Wee King’s record also became a #1 pop hit by early 1952. Other pop versions of the song charted for Ralph Flanagan (#6), Helen O’Connell (#8), Arthur Godfrey (#12), Roberta Lee (#13) and Tiny Hill (#28). Hawkshaw Hawkins scored a #7 country cover hit with “Slow Poke.” That record also spent one week on the pop survey at #26.

    After Charley Pride scored two number one hits (Honky Tonk Blues & You Win Again) from his excellent Hank Williams tribute album “There’s A Little Bit Of Hank In Me,” he registered a solid country top five hit with “You Almost Slipped My Mind” and followed that up with his top ten hit “Roll On Mississippi.” But then he really went off the rails. “Never Been So Loved (In All My Life)” is one of his most over-produced and forgettable singles. I was rather surprised when it went to #1 because I just did not believe it was one of Pride’s better efforts. Stylistically it fit right in with all of the other insipid pop/country music of the Urban-Cowboy era. Whenever you ask most Charley Pride fans for a list of their favorite Pride tunes this song seldom seems to make the cut.

    • Razor X November 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      I agree that “Never Been So Loved (In All My Life)” isn’t Pride’s best work, but it seemed pretty good at the time, particularly compared with most of the other stuff that was on the charts at the same time. I can’t say I actually dislike the song; I tend to have a soft spot for things that I remember hearing when I was growing up. But I wouldn’t put it on my list of favorite CP songs, either.

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