My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 1/12/13: #1 singles this week in country music history

rebamcentire1953 (Sales): Midnight — Red Foley (Decca)

1953 (Jukebox): Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes — Skeets McDonald (Capitol)

1953 (Disc Jockeys):
Back Street Affair — Webb Pierce (Decca)

1963: Don’t Let Me Cross Me Over — Carl Butler & Pearl (Columbia)

1973: She’s Got To Be A Saint — Ray Price (Columbia)

1983: Can’t Even Get The Blues — Reba McEntire (Mercury)

1993: Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away — Vince Gill (MCA)

2003: 19 Somethin’ – Mark Wills (Mercury)

2013: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together — Taylor Swift (Big Machine)

2013 (Airplay): Goodbye In Her Eyes — Zac Brown Band (Southern Ground/Atlantic)

2 responses to “Week ending 1/12/13: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Paul W Dennis January 13, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Really great set of songs

    “Midnight” would prove to be Red’s last solo #1 record nd was his 39th chart record (his success pre-dates the start of the Billboard Country charts on 1/1/44. He would enjoy one last #1 in 1954, a duet with Kitty Wells.

    “Don’t Let The Stars Get in Your Eyes” was Skeets McDonald’s only #1 record. The song itself was immensely popular as two country versions went to #1 and two others reached the top ten and an answer version (“I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes”) would reach #1 shortly on the Jukebox charts

    “Back Street Affair” would make it to #1 on all three of the country charts – Pierce, of course, was the biggest country star of the fifties charting 48 songs from 1952 through the end of 1959 , with 40 songs reaching the top ten and only one song finishing worse than #12.

    “Don’t Let Me Cross Over “was the only #1 record for the veteran duo of Carl & Pearl Butler but it was a biggie having an eleven week run at the top

    “She’s Got To Be A Saint”, Ray’s 62nd isn’t very country – it crossed the bridge from “Nashville Sound” to “Countrypolitan” but it was a great song – ol’ Ray , now 87 years old was still going strong until a few months ago, but it appears the end is near for one of the truly great singers of my lifetime

    “Can’t Even Get The Blues” is one of my three favorite Reba McENtire songs and her first #1 record – through 1988 she was truly a great artist. After than, not so much

    “19 Hundred Something” was the one last gasp of Mark’s top twenty career – he was hugely successful from 1996-1999, then came two years where his records charted at 18,33,19, 31. After this record reached #1 nothing ever again reached the top twenty for Mark .This song thematically reminds me of the 1900 pop hit for the Hawai’an group Liz Damon & The Orient Express “1900 Yesterday”. Both were great songs, albeit quite differently executed and with dissimilar melodies

    I thought we were rid of that Taylor Swift song. At least we have something worthwhile topping the airplay chart although “Goodbye In Her Eyes” as one of Zac Brown’s strongest efforts

  2. Ken Johnson January 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    1951 was a difficult year for Red Foley. His second wife Eva (who recorded as Judy Martin) suffered with severe depression for many years. She committed suicide on November 17, 1951 believed to have been triggered by her discovery that Red was having an affair with young singer Sally Sweet. On April 29, 1952 Foley’s guilt and depression over his wife’s death led to his own suicide attempt perhaps exacerbated by a lawsuit that had been filed against him by Sweet’s estranged husband. Foley recovered, settled the lawsuit and married Sally Sweet on October 28, 1952. Prior to his nuptials Decca released a recording that Red made the previous year at Castle Studio in Nashville. “Midnight” was written by Boudleaux Bryant & Chet Atkins. The September 26, 1951 session featured a unique arrangement featuring Grady Martin picking the bluesy guitar lead and Red overdubbing his own harmony vocal, a technique new to country music. When the song hit #1 on the Best Seller chart during the second week of January 1953 it returned Foley to the top spot after more than a two year absence.

    A post script to the story: According to Hank Williams’ driver Charles Carr, the lyrics of that song were among the final words uttered by Hank from the back seat of his Cadillac en route to Ohio on December 31, 1952.

    Webb Pierce scored two number one hits in 1952 with “Wondering” and “That Heart Belongs To Me.” The choice for Webb’s next single was inspired by Hank Williams. While Webb was visiting Hank’s radio show in Nashville he heard Hank perform a brand new song and declared how much he liked the tune. Hank admitted that though he loved it too his producer Fred Rose would not allow him record it. He confided to Webb that whoever had the nerve to record that song would have a number one hit. Songwriter Billy Wallace recognized that many country songs had already been written about cheating spouses. And he further noticed many married men were stepping out with younger girls and sadly admitted that he was one of them. His true-life experience inspired the song that Webb Pierce recorded at Nashville’s Castle Studio on July 29, 1952. “Back Street Affair” became Webb’s third number one hit and inspired another female “answer” song recorded by Kitty Wells. “Paying For That Back Street Affair” became her second chart hit peaking at #6 in March 1953.

    Carl Butler began recording great country songs in 1951, but saw his greatest success as a songwriter. Roy Acuff, Carl Smith, Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and even Rosemary Clooney recorded his compositions. His first real chart success as a singer came in 1961 with “Honky Tonkitis.” In early 1962 despite his objections, Carl recorded a song that he truly didn’t care for. Songwriter Penny Jay was inspired by the “no passing” signs on the highway that warn you not to cross over the yellow line. Penny changed it to “love’s cheating line” and built the song around that idea. Carl’s wife Pearl was an accomplished songwriter and frequently appeared onstage with him. He recruited her to sing harmony and on February 26, 1962 the duo recorded “Don’t Let Me Cross Over” at Columbia studios in Nashville. That single held the #1 spot for a total of 11 weeks and ended the year ranked as the #8 country song for 1963.

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