My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 7/14/12: #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: Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me Baby — Janie Fricke (Columbia)

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)

One response to “Week ending 7/14/12: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Ken Johnson July 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Though “The Wild Side Of Life” remained the best selling country single and was the most played country record on jukeboxes this week in 1952 another song was challenging Hank Thompson’s position. Webb Pierce scored his first national hit earlier that year when his single “Wondering” topped the Disc Jockey survey for four weeks in March. Webb’s subsequent Decca single had been completely overshadowed by the popularity of “Wondering” so it never charted. However Webb’s next single “That Heart Belongs To Me” proved an immediate winner. It debuted in early June on the Billboard charts and this week in 1952 the single captured the #1 spot on the Disc Jockey survey.

    When Claude King auditioned for producer Don Law he impressed the Columbia Records executive so much that Claude was immediately signed to the label. The song that Claude performed for his audition was selected as his debut single, “Big River, Big Man.” The record gave Claude a great start when it peaked at #7 in September 1961. Claude’s second single “The Comancheros” was inspired by the John Wayne movie that shares that title though the song was never used for the soundtrack. During the final week of January 1962 that single also crested at #7. The third single was the charm. “Wolverton Mountain” became Claude’s biggest career hit. It remained at #1 for a third week in 1962.

    Hank William’s, Jr. second number one record “Eleven Roses” earned a second week at the top of the survey in 1972. Hank did not score another #1 hit for nine years. He moved from the MGM label to Warner/Curb in 1977 and then to Elektra/Curb two years later. Hank finally returned to #1 in early 1981 with his song “Texas Women.”

    Janie Fricke truly paid her dues working behind the scenes in the recording industry before her first solo success. She performed radio station jingles (singing call letters to pre-recorded musical tracks) and sang commercials for many national clients including Red Lobster (for the sea food lover in you), McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and United Airlines. While working as a backup singer with the Lea Jane singers in Nashville she first received recognition as the uncredited female voice on several Johnny Duncan hits including “Stranger,” and Thinkin’ Of A Rendezvous.” A credited duet with Charlie Rich “On My Knees” topped the country chart in 1978. Columbia signed her to the label in 1977 but her first solo top ten hit did not arrive until 1981 with “Down To My Last Broken Heart.” After three more top ten hits Janie finally earned her very own #1 single with “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me Baby.” It became the first of eight number one singles and paved the way for Janie’s CMA Female Vocalist Of The Year Awards in 1982 and 1983.

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