My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 8/11/12: #1 singles this week in country music history

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

1962: Wolverton Mountain — Claude King (Columbia)

1972: It’s Gonna Take A Little Bit Longer — Charley Pride (RCA)

1982: Honky Tonkin’ — Hank Williams, Jr. (Elektra/Curb)

1992: Boot Scootin’ Boogie — Brooks & Dunn (Arista)

2002: The Good Stuff — Kenny Chesney (BNA)

2012: Come Over — Kenny Chesney (Blue Chair/Columbia)

One response to “Week ending 8/11/12: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Ken Johnson August 12, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Hank Thompson remained at the top of two out of the three country charts 60 years ago this week. “The Wild Side Of Life” continued as the best selling single and was the most played country record on jukeboxes. Hank & The Brazos Valley Boys spent the first two weeks of August performing shows in his home state of Texas making the most of the popularity that the monumental hit had brought them. Meanwhile after dropping back to #3 the previous week Webb Pierce returned to the top of the disc jockey survey with “That Heart Belongs To Me.” Webb’s growing stature as a country hit-maker earned an invitation to perform on the Grand Ole Opry one month later. Webb made his Opry debut on September 13, 1952.

    In today’s youth-obesssed country music industry new performers above a “certain age” need not apply. Fifty years ago there was a similar sensitivity to older acts. When his career began to take off Claude King’s manager dropped a decade from the singer’s published age. Claude was actually 39 years old not 29 as his official bio stated this week in 1962 as “Wolverton Mountain” began a seventh week at #1.

    In 1972 Charley Pride began his third and final week at #1 with “It’s Gonna Take A Little Bit Longer.” Unfortunately for George Jones and Tammy Wynette Charley’s prolonged hold on the top of the chart prevented both of them from achieving #1 records. Tammy’s “Reach Out Your Hand” and George’s “Loving You Could Never Be Better both stalled at #2. Just after his newest hit had peaked Charley returned to the RCA studios in Nashville to record his next single & tracks for a new album at a pair of sessions on August 16th & 17th.

    Hank Williams, Jr. began his recording career with remakes of his father’s legendary songs. His first single “Long Gone Lonesome Blues” had been a #1 record for Hank Williams, Sr. in 1950. Bocephus’ version was his first top five hit in April 1964 and was featured on his debut album “Hank Williams, Jr. Sings The Songs Of Hank Williams.” His second album was a movie soundtrack for the Hank Williams bogus biopic “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” 15 year old Hank, Jr. performed his dad’s biggest hits that were lip-synched on film by George Hamilton.

    Hank continued to mine the rich legacy of his father’s compositions in the years to come even overdubbing his voice onto his father’s recordings for two studio-created duet albums. Hank first recorded his dad’s 1948 hit “Honky Tonkin’” for MGM in 1973 but that version remained unreleased until issued in a 1992 box set. During sessions for his 1982 “High Notes” album Hank recorded the song as a duet with Tanya Tucker. Unsatisfied with Tanya’s vocal Hank re-recorded the song as a solo using the same backing tracks and selected it for single release. 30 years ago Hank, Jr. scored his 6th number one hit with “Honky Tonkin.”

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