My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 7/7/12: #1 singles this week in country music history

1952: The Wild Side of Life — Hank Thompson (Capitol)

1962: Wolverton Mountain — Claude King (Columbia)

1972: Eleven Roses — Hank Williams, Jr. (MGM)

1982: Any Day Now — Ronnie Milsap (RCA)

1992: I Saw The Light — Wynonna (MCA/Curb)

2002: I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song) — Brad Paisley (Arista)

2012: Drunk On You — Luke Bryan (Capitol)

3 responses to “Week ending 7/7/12: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Ken Johnson July 8, 2012 at 9:27 am

    “The Wild Side Of Life” was more successful than Hank Thompson could have ever imagined. This week in 1952 the single began it’s 6th consecutive week atop all three Billboard country charts. Four years earlier Hank’s “Humpty Dumpty Heart” had peaked at #2. Continuing requests and sales kept that record on the charts for a total of 38 weeks and thanks to that longevity the song ranked as the #6 single on Billboard’s 1948 year-end country chart. When 1952 ended Hank claimed the #1 song of that year with “The Wild Side Of Life.”

    This week in 1962 Claude King began his second week at #1 with “Wolverton Mountain.” On his road to success Claude King made friends with two of country music’s most famous legends. Booked for one of Hank Williams final tours Claude worked as both the opening act and as Hank’s driver. Claude said that Hank told him that he discovered most of his song ideas in comic books! Claude also toured with his close friend Johnny Horton. When the duo wasn’t performing they enjoyed hunting and fishing together. While waiting for Horton to join him at a duck hunting camp on November 5, 1960 Claude learned that Johnny had lost his life in a car crash. But shortly before his death Horton had arranged for Claude to audition for producer Don Law. Impressed by Claude’s performance Law signed him to Columbia Records in 1961.

    By 1972 Hank Williams, Jr. had come a long way since his first MGM single. A remake of his father’s “Long Gone Lonesome Blues” recorded when he was only 14 gave Hank his first top ten hit in 1964. His first number one hit came at the age of 21 with “All For the Love Of Sunshine” in 1970 from the Kelly’s Heroes movie soundtrack. By then Hank’s producer Jim Vienneau had adopted the orchestrated Nashville Sound replacing the traditional fiddle and steel guitar style of Hank’s dad. “Eleven Roses” was written on Hank’s tour bus by two members of his road band, Lamar Morris & Darrell McCall. Recorded in Nashville on December 9, 1971 the single gave Hank Williams, Jr. his second #1 hit.

    Ronnie Milsap has the rare ability to authentically perform a variety of musical styles. Early in his career while on the roster for Scepter Records he met R&B artist Chuck Jackson who had scored a 1962 pop and R&B hit with “Any Day Now.” Milsap had once envisioned himself as an R&B singer before transitioning to country music in the early 1970’s. On January 15, 1982 Ronnie got his R&B groove on when he recorded Chuck Jackson’s hit. Though Don Gibson had charted the song just four years earlier (it peaked at #26) RCA believed that Milsap’s bluesy version would be a big winner. “Any Day Now” became his 20th number one country hit. Thanks to Milsap’s manager the song’s appeal went beyond the country music audience as he promoted the record to top 40 and adult contemporary radio stations. The single rose to #14 on the Hot 100 pop survey and it topped the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart for five weeks!

  2. Andrew Leprich July 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I love all of these songs except the 2012 entry, which I haven’t heard.

  3. J.R. Journey July 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    “Drunk On You” has taken a lot of heat for its meaningless lyrics, but I like it well enough for what it is. It’s the kind of song where the appeal is more dulcet than cerebral, so combing the lines for meaning is well, meaningless.

    The 1982 and ’92 entries are some of my favorites from those artists.

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