My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 8/27/16: #1 singles this week in country music history

tgsheppard02-280x336-21956 (Sales): Crazy Arms — Ray Price (Columbia)

1956 (Jukebox): I Walk The Line/Get Rhythm — Johnny Cash (Sun)

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

1966: Almost Persuaded — David Houston (Epic)

1976: Bring It On Home to Me — Mickey Gilley (Playboy)

1986: Strong Heart – T.G. Sheppard (Columbia)

1996: Carried Away — George Strait (MCA)

2006: If You’re Goin’ Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows) — Rodney Atkins (Curb)

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

2016 (Airplay): Head Over Boots — Jon Pardi (Capitol)

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4 responses to “Week ending 8/27/16: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Ken August 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    The Sun recording of “Get Rhythm” had two separate stints on the country chart for Johnny Cash. The first was as the tag-along B side of “I Walk The Line” in 1956. The second came 13 years later.

    In 1968 Cash’s career was rejuvenated by a live album at Folsom Prison that featured a new recording of “Folsom Prison Blues.” That single became a #1 country hit and the LP sold millions. A year later “A Boy Named Sue” and his live Johnny Cash At San Quentin album brought him even greater success. During the summer of 1969 Cash hosted a Saturday night show on ABC-TV that brought extensive national exposure to his music. He also sang many older hits on that show dating back to the dawn of his career in the mid-1950’s. While that show was airing Shelby Singleton purchased the Sun Record label from Sam Phillips in July 1969 and began an extensive reissue program. The timing to acquire those Sun masters could not have been better. Cash’s original Sun albums had been out of print for several years and his newfound fame created massive interest for all of his recordings. Singleton created new compilations of the vintage Sun sides and featured current photos of Cash on the album jackets. The new artwork was much more appealing that the dated covers of the original Sun LP’s. Those recent pictures of Cash likely made some consumers think that those were brand new recordings. But for fans like me that knew it was vault material it was a chance to at long last acquire his early recordings. The only downside was that Singleton issued them in fake stereo rather than the original mono mixes.

    Singleton also began to issue new singles. The first Cash 45 on the resurrected Sun label was the original recording of “Get Rhythm” with overdubbed audience applause to create an artificial “live” recording. Because of Cash’s overwhelming popularity a significant number of radio stations played that new version and that single peaked at #23 in November 1969.

    Cash also appeared as a “special guest” on Martin DelRay’s 1991 recording of that song. The single reached #27.

  2. Paul W Dennis August 28, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    During the 1970s and 1980s the charts spun #1 records almost continuously. Consequently , #1 records do not make a useful reference point for considering whether or not an artist is a worthy candidate for the Country Music Hall of Fame. Case in point T.G Sheppard, who had 14 #1 records, only two of which spent more than one week at #1 (both had two weeks runs.

    The list of predominantly 70s & 80s artists with fourteen or more Billboard #1s included Sheppard (14), The Judds (14), Eddie Rabbitt (17), Mickey Gilley (17), Oak Ridge Boys (17), Don Williams (17) , Earl Thomas Conley (18), Crystal Gayle (18). Are they all HOF worthy ? All of them had more #1 records than either Ray Price or George Jones.

    I do not mean this as a knock on T G Sheppard, a pretty decent artist, but certainly not one of the all-time greats.

    Regardless of the above this is a pretty decent set of songs with only “H.O.L.Y”. being an unholy mess of a song

    Per Ken’s comment, I do remember local stations playing the Johnny Cash Sun/Singleton reissues. WCMS in the late 1960s/early 1970s would take any excuse to play a Johnny Cash record, not that an excuse was needed

    • Ken August 29, 2016 at 8:24 am

      Re: Johnny Cash circa 1969. Paul’s comment reminded me that many radio stations had switched to a country format in the late 1960’s so most had to assemble an oldies library from scratch. Because Cash’s Sun recordings were out of print during that era most stations did not have those titles in their libraries. When Shelby Singleton purchased and reactivated the Sun imprint that music became widely available once again. In addition to two compilation albums of Cash’s Sun sides [Original Golden Hits Vol. 1 & 2] a “Golden Treasure Series” of 45 RPM releases was established to reissue A & B sides of original Sun singles. Created for use in jukeboxes and for sales to individual consumers they also served the purpose of getting songs by Cash and other Sun artists hits back into the oldies rotations at radio stations. When I became music director at my first country station one of my first tasks was to inventory and reorganize our oldies library. We made a deal with a local record shop that had a huge country 45 inventory to obtain the records that we needed in return for advertising their store. Among the first titles we acquired were Sun reissue 45’s for Cash classics including Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk The Line, Guess Things Happen That Way, Ballad Of A Teenage Queen and Big River. Our listeners loved ’em!

      For those not around during that era most radio stations played their music directly from 45’s and in some cases 33 RPM records as well. Stations in large markets with bigger budgets recorded their songs to tape cartridges.

  3. Erik North August 31, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Re. “Bring It On Home To Me” (#1 forty years ago)–for those who might not have been aware, this was M.G.’s take on the 1962 R&B classic of the same name by the great Sam Cooke.

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