My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 6/25/16: #1 singles this week in country music history

Ray_Price_publicity_portrait_cropped1956 (Sales): Heartbreak Hotel/I Was The One — Elvis Presley (RCA)

1956 (Jukebox): Heartbreak Hotel/I Was The One — Elvis Presley (RCA)

1956 (Disc Jockeys): Crazy Arms — Ray Price (Columbia)

1966: Take Good Care of Her — Sonny James (Capitol)

1976: El Paso City — Marty Robbins (Columbia)

1986: Mama’s Never Seen Those Eyes — The Forester Sisters (Warner Bros.)

1996: Time Marches On — Tracy Lawrence (Atlantic)

2006: Summertime — Kenny Chesney (BNA)

2016: H.O.L.Y. — Florida Georgia Line (Republic Nashville)

2016 (Airplay): Humble and Kind — Tim McGraw (Big Machine)

4 responses to “Week ending 6/25/16: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Michael A. June 26, 2016 at 8:23 am

    One thing I’ve really been enjoying the last year or so is listening to Bob Kingsley’s old episodes of American Country Countdown. Every Monday morning a “new” episode is added. They usually date from 1989 or 1990 up through 2005 or so. My favorites are from the early 90s. This week’s episode happens to be from 1996. A third of the songs on the countdown are from females and I think you could argue that half the songs in the Top 10 are iconic:

  2. Ken June 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Though they could not be more different stylistically the two biggest country hits of 1956 had one thing in common. Both featured the legendary Floyd Cramer on piano. Cramer provided the bluesy tinkling piano licks for “Heartbreak Hotel” at Elvis’ first RCA Victor session on January 11, 1956. Less than two months later Cramer played honky-tonk piano for a new country “shuffle” style created for “Crazy Arms” at Ray Price’s March 1 Columbia session. That sound won huge favor with country fans and dominated Ray’s recordings through the early 1960’s. It also transformed Ray into one of country music’s major players. That record remained on the charts for a total of 45 weeks with 20 of those spent at #1. At year’s end “Crazy Arms” ranked as Billboards #1 country single for 1956 with “Heartbreak Hotel” just behind at #2.

    In the early 1960’s Columbia added reverb to Ray’s original master recording of “Crazy Arms” in a misdirected effort to somehow “modernize” the sound. That version was used for the reissue on Columbia’s Hall Of Fame 45 RPM oldies series. That 45 single was used on jukeboxes and included in many radio station oldies libraries for the years that followed. Columbia also added other electronic effects to fabricate a fake stereo version used for stereo album release. For many years those adulterated versions were the only ones available unless you could locate the original 45 or 78 RPM release of the 1956 Columbia recording. In 1995 when Bear Family Records was compiling songs for their Ray Price box set they located the original tape of that song in the Columbia vaults and issued it on CD. In the years since that original version has also been issued on other compilations. Here’s is how that song sounded as it was first recorded:

    Since then Ray recorded several other versions of the song including an excellent orchestrated arrangement for his 1970 For The Good Times album.

    • Ken June 26, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      Sorry but the direct link to the 1970 version of “Crazy Arms” takes you to the first song on the album playlist. Click the “next” arrow in the player controls twice (just left of the volume button) to advance to “Crazy Arms.”

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