My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 2/2/13: #1 singles this week in country music history

Tom T Hall 4bio1953 (Sales): Eddy’s Song — Eddy Arnold (RCA)

1953 (Jukebox): Back Street Affair — Webb Pierce (Decca)

1953 (Disc Jockeys): No Help Wanted — The Carlisles (Mercury)

1963: The Ballad of Jed Clampett — Flatt & Scruggs (Columbia)

1973: (Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine — Tom T. Hall (Mercury)

1983: Talk To Me — Mickey Gilley (Epic)

1993: Look Heart, No Hands — Randy Travis (Warner Bros.)

2003: 19 Somethin’ – Mark Wills (Mercury)

2013: Better Dig Two — The Band Perry (Republic Nashville)

2013 (Airplay): How Country Feels — Randy Houser (Stoney Creek)

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

  1. Paul W Dennis February 3, 2013 at 8:20 am

    “Eddy’s Song” is comprised of a bunch of Eddy Arnold song titles (of earlier hit) strung together as a lyric – it’s been done before (“Jukebox Saturday Night” – the Glenn Miller Orchestra) and since (Moe Bandy’s “I Just Started Hating Cheating Songs Today”), but I think Eddy Arnold was the only country singer to get such a song to the top of the charts . Nice steel guitar on the song by Little Roy Wiggins

    “No Help Wanted” was the only #1 for Bill Carlisle and The Carlisles. The song, was indeed popular as it also was a top ten for Hank Thompson, and Ernest Tubb took “No Help Wanted #2” into the top ten as well

  2. Ken Johnson February 3, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Eddy Arnold began his ninth year as a country hit maker with a clever song written by Cy Coben and Charles Grean. Coben had a hand in composing three of Eddy’s previous number one hits. He wrote “There’s Been A Change In Me,” and “I Wanna Play House With You” then teamed with Eddy to co-write “Easy On The Eyes.” By the end of 1952 Eddy had charted an amazing total of 49 songs. 17 of those were #1 singles and all of the others were top-ten records. With that rich repertoire to draw from Coben created a clever song incorporating the titles of Eddy’s biggest songs. Recorded on December 4, 1952 at RCA Victor Studio #1 on East 24th Street in New York City, “Eddy’s Song” debuted on the country Best Seller chart on January 24, 1953. Just one week later it became his 18th number one single. Unfortunately like many other 1940’s & 50’s Eddy Arnold hits this too became another “lost” single. The song was not issued on an Eddy Arnold album until the 1964 RCA/Camden budget compilation “Eddy’s Songs” (CAL 799) However since the dawn of the CD era the song has been resurrected for several Eddy Arnold compilations including a reissue of the “Eddy’s Songs” album and is easier to find today than it was in the decade following its initial release!

    Brothers Bill and Cliff Carlisle began performing music as small children. They first appeared on their family’s weekly radio program in 1929. For the next decade and a half, the brothers performed both individually and as a duo until Cliff retired in 1947. Bill continued as a solo performer until 1951 when Cliff returned to the act. That year gospel singer Martha Carson decided to try her hand as a secular songwriter and performer and joined Bill’s “Mid-Day Merry Go-Round” radio show in Knoxville, Tennessee where the trio became The Carlisles. Signed to Mercury Records their first single “Too Old To Cut The Mustard” featured sideman Chet Atkins on guitar. Shortly after the record became a top ten hit in early1952 Cliff retired once again. The group’s next three singles failed to chart but finally a song written by Bill turned their luck around. “No Help Wanted” was inspired by his unsuccessful job search at several radio stations. Recorded in Nashville in late September 1952 the session included a return performance by Chet Atkins. The single charted in early January 1953 and by the end of that month it sat atop the country Disc Jockey survey where it ultimately logged four weeks. After the initial success the record caught a second wind in early May when it topped the Jukebox chart for another four weeks. “No Help Wanted” proved to be the Carlisles’ high water mark becoming their only number one hit.

    Tom T. Hall wrote “Old Dogs-Children And Watermelon Wine” based on a true incident that occurred during the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami. He had been hired to perform a concert in a park across the street from the convention center to entertain potential demonstrators and keep them from disrupting the proceedings. After the show Tom T. stopped by the bar at his hotel where a chance meeting with an older gentleman inspired one of his greatest songs. He scribbled the lyrics on an airline sickness bag during his flight to Atlanta the next morning. He arrived in Music City just in time for a scheduled recording session and completed the melody in the studio. Charlie McCoy’s harmonica framed Tom T. Hall’s poignant lyrics at that July 12, 1972 session creating a true country classic that held the #1 position forty years ago this week.

    Mickey Gilley’s hit making career began with re-makes of country classics. His first #1 record was a honky-tonk treatment of George Morgan’s 1949 hit “Room Full Of Roses.” He followed with songs from Carl Smith, Ray Price and Eddy Arnold. A couple of years later he successfully borrowed pop songs from Sam Cooke, Lloyd Price and Joe Turner. He continued that trend into the 1980’s scoring his biggest record with Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” from the Urban Cowboy movie. In 1982 Producer Jim Ed Norman suggested a pop song that had been recorded by Little Willie John in 1958 (#20) and revived by Sunny & The Sunglows in 1963 (#11). “Talk To Me” (also titled “Talk To Me, Talk To Me”) was given a ride up the country chart to #13 in 1978 by Freddy Fender. Gilley was already familiar with the tune having performed it in clubs and his smooth new arrangement earned him his 15th number one hit this week in 1983.

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