My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 7/21/12: #1 singles this week in country music history

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

1962: Wolverton Mountain — Claude King (Columbia)

1972: Made In Japan — Buck Owens (Capitol)

1982: Till You’re Gone — Barbara Mandrell (MCA)

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

2002: Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) — Toby Keith (DreamWorks Nashville)

2012: You Don’t Know Her Like I Do — Brantley Gilbert (Valory)

One response to “Week ending 7/21/12: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Ken Johnson July 22, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Hank Thompson continued his dominance of Billboard Magazine’s best selling singles and most played on jukeboxes charts this week in 1952 as “The Wild Side Of Life” remained atop both surveys. Meanwhile the disc jockey chart showed more volatility. After just one week at number one, Webb Pierce’s “That Heart Belongs To Me” slid back to #3 replaced by Carl Smith’s new single. “Are You Teasing Me” written by Ira & Charlie Louvin was recorded on February 5, 1952 at Nashville’s Castle Studio. The flip side of Carl’s single recorded at that same session, “It’s A Lovely, Lovely World” also charted and ultimately peaked at #5. Gail Davies recording of that song returned it to the top five in 1981.

    Claude King was a brand new name to most country fans in the early 1960’s but his professional musical career had begun two decades earlier. His first recordings were made in 1947 and released for the tiny President label that belonged to a Little Rock, Arkansas record store owner. “Flying Saucers” tapped into America’s preoccupation with UFO’s but failed to catch on with country record buyers. Claude performed on the famed Louisiana Hayride radio show and during the next decade he recorded for the Pacemaker, Gotham, Specialty and Dee-Jay labels. Despite his best efforts none of those recordings broke through. Claude’s luck finally turned when he joined Columbia Records in 1961. Exactly fifty years ago Claude began his fourth week at #1 with “Wolverton Mountain.”

    After an amazing string of chart toppers during the1960’s Buck Owens’ found it difficult to score number one hits in the early 1970’s. During that period Buck had drifted away from his trademark “Bakersfield Sound” by adding orchestration and background voices. He recorded folk/rock and bluegrass albums that were musically innovative though not as popular with core Buck Owens fans. His famous Buckaroos band had added a keyboard and banjo replacing the steel guitar that had been so prominently featured on most of Buck’s hits. Buck’s return to the top came courtesy of a song written by Bob Morris and his wife Faye. Morris was often referred to as an “honorary Buckaroo” because he played bass on many of Buck’s recording sessions and he wrote Buck’s 1965 instrumental hit “Buckaroo.” Buck recorded “Made In Japan” at his Bakersfield studio on March 7, 1972 with a unique steel guitar and fiddle arrangement that provided an authentic Japanese sound. It became Buck’s 20th and final #1 solo single hit this week in 1972.

    Barbara Mandrell was at the top of her career during the early 1980’s. She hosted a weekly NBC-TV series with her sisters Louise & Irlene, played to sold-out concerts and was named the CMA “Entertainer Of The Year” for 1980 & 1981. Barbara easily adapted to the Urban Cowboy era when traditional country instruments and arrangements were forsaken for a pop/crossover sound. She recorded a song written by Tommy Brasfield & Walt Aldridge who had crafted Ronnie Milsap’s 1981 crossover hit “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me.” With a saxophone featured as the lead instrument “’Till You’re Gone” struck the right chord with country fans that made it a #1 hit 30 years ago this week.

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