My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 6/20/15: #1 singles this week in country music history

linda-ronstadt1955 (Sales): In The Jailhouse Now — Webb Pierce (Decca)

1955 (Jukebox): In The Jailhouse Now — Webb Pierce (Decca)

1955 (Disc Jockeys): Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young — Faron Young (Capitol)

1965: Ribbon of Darkness — Marty Robbins (Columbia)

1975: When Will I Be Loved — Linda Ronstadt (Capitol)

1985: Country Boy — Ricky Skaggs (Epic)

1995: Summer’s Comin’ — Clint Black (RCA)

2005: Making Memories Of Us — Keith Urban (Capitol)

2015: Girl Crush — Little Big Town (Capitol)

2015 (Airplay): Sippin’ on Fire — Florida Georgia Line (Republic Nashville)

9 responses to “Week ending 6/20/15: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Paul W Dennis June 21, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Finally we get a new #1 in 1955 on the DJ charts with Faron Young’s “Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young” . Fear not though, “In The Jailhouse Now” will continue to dominate the other two charts for a few more weeks.

    “Ribbon of Darkness” was Marty’s fine cover of a Gordon Lightfoot song, one of the earliest appearances 9perhaps the first appearance) of a Lightfoot song on the country charts

    LInda Ronstadt makes her only appearance at #1 as a solo act on the Country Charts this week with a good cover of an Everly Brothers pop hit from 1960, I regard Linda as more of a fellow traveler than as a country artist, but however she is classified, she was an excellent performer

    Ricky Skaggs’ “Country Boy” had one of the great videos associated with it, with Mr. Bill Monroe and New York Mayor Ed Koch making appearances.

    I must admit that “Girl Crush” has grown on me a little – it’s not a classic but it is a decent effort by Little Big Town.

    • luckyoldsun June 21, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      That video with Ricky and Bill “Uncle Pen” Monroe on the graffiti-strewn Times Square Shuttle with the black break dancers and Ed Koch standing by his Checker cab, eating a bagel and lip synching to Skaggs’ falsetto was an all-time classic.
      I can’t keep track with political correctness anymore, but nowadays, I suppose someone would have found a reason to object to something–or everything–in the video.
      I think Skaggs kept in touch with Koch after that and would send him his new CD’s. Koch would drive people nuts by singing along to the music from his Walkman/Discman while running on the treadmill at the gym where he would go.

  2. Erik North June 21, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I have always found it funny that, while the country music establishment in 1975 was railing over John Denver and Olivia Newton-John having crossover pop/country hits, they seemed not to have a problem with Linda doing this (as with “When Will I Be Loved?”), even though her approach was much more Sunset Blvd. than Music Row, and much more rock-oriented.

    • Ken June 22, 2015 at 8:41 am

      The concern by core country artists during the mid-1970’s was not initially due to Denver & Newton-John simply receiving airplay on country radio stations and scoring country chart hits. What lit the fuse was when Olivia was named the 1974 Female Vocalist Of The Year by the Country Music Association. In the weeks immediately following the awards show a group of country singers including George Jones, Tammy Wynette and Barbara Mandrell formed ACE – the Association of Country Entertainers to advocate for greater participation by entertainers on the CMA Board Of Directors. They also took issue with shorter playlists that were becoming more common on country radio stations that limited airplay opportunities. Adding fuel to the fire the following year John Denver was named the Entertainer Of The Year [Charlie Rich notoriously set the envelope bearing Denver’s winning name on fire during the live televised awards ceremony. Not a statement of disagreement but rather a consequence of Rich’s severe intoxication that night] If you search the name of that organization you will find additional details. Though many tried to brand ACE as country protectionists they did have some legitimate concerns. The organization disbanded in 1981.

      As for Linda Ronstadt she did not have the “outsider” image that UK native Olivia Newton-John & former folksinger Denver had. Though Linda did score a couple of pop hits she had also released solid country versions of “Lovesick Blues,””Crazy Arms” and “I Fall To Pieces” that received airplay on some country stations. In early 1974 she had a top 20 country hit with “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” and followed it up late in the year with her top 5 version of the Hank Williams’ classic “I Can’t Help It If (I’m Still In Love With You)” Both endeared her to core country fans and set the table for “When Will I Be Loved.”

      • Erik North June 22, 2015 at 8:40 pm

        It should be pointed out, though, that the same 1960s folk music movement that John Denver came out of Linda also came out of. Linda had a lot of country in her musical DNA as well, having been exposed to it growing up in Arizona. She just never considered herself a country singer in the strictest sense of the term, and was characteristically open about it. She did a great many country songs, but she did them in such a way that you couldn’t really mistake them for anyone else.

        • Ken June 22, 2015 at 9:08 pm

          That’s true but I’m talking about perception in 1974/75. Linda was not saying that she did not consider herself a “country” singer at that time. At that stage of her career she welcomed acceptance and airplay from any format where that she could get it including country, top 40 and the emerging album rock format. She was only known as a singer with an amazing voice while John had an entire “image” that was created and projected via the mass media of that time. You have to look at it from the perspective of that era and not the hindsight of 40+ years later.

  3. Sheridan June 22, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Ronstadt was always welcome by the establishment and by the outsiders and rebels because her gorgeous sad powerful voice and musicianship was just so good and honoring of country roots.

  4. Paul W Dennis June 23, 2015 at 6:46 am

    I always found it interesting that despite her massive talent, Ronstadt had little success in the United Kingdom, where she had only two top ten singles, both late 1980s collaborations with male artists (James Ingram, Aaron Neville) and only had one album reached the top twenty (SIMPLE DREAMS, #15) and no other albums reached the top thirty, although WHAT’S NEW got to #31.

    I agree with Ken – back in 74/75 Linda was NOT eschewing the label “country”

  5. luckyoldsun June 23, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Olivia “Let’s-Get-Physical” Newton-John was not a country singer.
    Ronstadt was just a great singer. Her “country” is great, like Ray Charles’ “country” is great.
    John Denver was always sort of country. I’d bet that a lot of music fans–who do not follow or read about the music industry but simply listen to music and occasionally buy records–would say (if asked) that John Denver was a country singer.

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