My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 3/24/12: #1 singles this week in country music history

1952: Wondering — Webb Pierce (Decca)

1962: That’s My Pa — Sheb Wooley (MGM)

1972: My Hang-up Is You — Freddie Hart (Capitol)

1982: Mountain of Love — Charley Pride (RCA)

1992: Dallas — Alan Jackson (Arista)

2002: The Long Goodbye — Brooks & Dunn (Arista)

2012: Home — Dierks Bentley (Capitol)

5 responses to “Week ending 3/24/12: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Jonathan Pappalardo March 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    “Dallas” is my favorite Alan Jackson song. A pure classic. Love the Brooks & Dunn and Dierks Bentley entries, too.

  2. Paul W Dennis March 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    A good set of songs – the 52, 72 & 82 entries are better than the three newer entries but they are all decent songs.

    1962 was a novelty from the man whose biggest hit, “Purple People Eater” was also a novelty, albeit one that spent six weeks at #1 on Billiboard’s pop charts. It also charted on Billboard’s R&B charts, although not on Billboard’s country chart (although Cashbox had it reach #4 country).

    Wooley’s career was overshadowed by his besotted alter-ego, Ben Colder, who racked up a half dozen hits (and at least as many albums) parodying country hits during the 1960s and 1970s. Many of the Ben Colder parodies received airplay, although Billboard did not track album cuts back then, only songs officially released as singles.

    I liked “Mountain of Love” but the song was old hat by the time Charley got around to it. Harold Dorman, the writer, charted with it in 1960 and the song was a top ten pop hit for Johnny Rivers in 1964. Bobby G. Rice had a top twenty country hit with the song in 1971 which would have been a top five hit had he been on a decent record label

  3. Ken Johnson March 26, 2012 at 10:47 am

    At the time “That’s My Pa” was topping the country chart Sheb Wooley was starring with Clint Eastwood in the TV western “Rawhide” as cattle drive scout Pete Nolan. As a young man Sheb rode horses and worked rodeos in his native Oklahoma. Both prepared him for many of his on-screen roles in over 60 movies including the westerns High Noon & Giant. A little known fact is that Sheb was married to Roger Miller’s cousin. After Roger’s father died he was raised by his aunt & uncle in Oklahoma who employed their son-in-law Sheb on the family farm. Roger spent his formative years working alongside Sheb who he credited with inspiring his interest in music and songwriting. Sheb gave Roger his first instrument – a fiddle.

    Next to “The Purple People Eater” & “That’s My Pa,” Sheb’s other best-known composition is the theme song for the “Hee-Haw” TV series. Sheb (and his alter-ego Ben Colder) was an original cast member of the show just for the first 12 episodes that aired during the summer of 1969. Unfortunately after Sheb echoed the negative comments of TV critics that panned the show his contract was not renewed. Sheb later said that if he had kept his mouth shut he could’ve remained a cast member for the entire run of the series.

    I found most of Sheb’s “Ben Colder” parody recordings pretty clever and quite hilarious. My two favorites are “Almost Persuaded #2” (which actually became a top ten single in 1966) and his rewrite of a 1970 Conway Twitty hit “Fifteen Beers Ago.” (Fifteen Years Ago)

    By the early 1980’s Charley Pride had all but abandoned the core country sound that had launched his career. “Mountain Of Love” is a textbook example. Recorded November 3, 1981 it was a typically strong vocal performance for Pride though devoid of any true country instrumentation. The female background vocalists are especially intrusive on this one. It was the second time that Charley hit with a Harold Dorman composition. Dorman co-wrote Charley’s much countrier 1974 top five hit “Mississippi Cotton-Pickin’ Delta Town.”

    • luckyoldsun March 27, 2012 at 12:55 am

      “Rawhide,” of course is as known for the famous, whip-cracking Frankie Laine title song as it is for anything that went on on-screen.
      It’s funny that Laine never had a country hit–even though in later years a lot of people thought he was a country artist (and he has appeared on some country compilation albums).

      • Ken Johnson March 30, 2012 at 10:34 am

        Frankie Laine probably could have been a country singer had he wanted to. What an incredible voice!

        And of course there’s an entire generation that only knows “Rawhide” thanks to the Blues Brothers film and probably is not really aware of the TV show. Re-runs of Rawhide are now featured daily on Encore Westerns. They also air the half-hour and the one-hour black & white Gunsmoke shows that have not been broadcast for decades. Love Dennis Weaver as Chester.


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