My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 10/15/16: #1 singles this week in country music history

hqdefault-91956 (Sales): Don’t Be Cruel/Hound Dog — Elvis Presley (RCA)

1956 (Jukebox): Don’t Be Cruel/Hound Dog — Elvis Presley (RCA)

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

1966: Blue Side of Lonesome — Jim Reeves (RCA)

1976: The Games that Daddies Play — Conway Twitty (MCA)

1986: Both to Each Other (Friends & Lovers) — Eddie Rabbitt with Juice Newton (RCA)

1996: Believe Me Baby (I Lied) — Trisha Yearwood (MCA)

2006: Would You Go With Me — Josh Turner (MCA)

2016: Forever Country — Artists of Then, Now & Forever (MCA)

2016 (Airplay): It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To — Billy Currington (Mercury)

9 responses to “Week ending 10/15/16: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. luckyoldsun October 17, 2016 at 12:56 am

    The Conway entry is one of those trademark songs of his where he creates real tension because the lyrics are so creepy that the listener is forced to wonder just where–and how far–it’s going. Until the end, when the listener lets out a sigh of relief and says “That could have been a lot worse.”

    • Razor X October 17, 2016 at 9:23 am

      What song were you listening to? I’ve never thought of the lyrics as being the least bit creepy.

    • Ken October 17, 2016 at 9:56 am

      “The Games That Daddies Play” was written over 40 years ago therefore it must be viewed from that perspective. By the mid-1970’s country music had evolved to the point where adult topics such as divorce and separation were being portrayed in ways emphasizing the impact it had upon entire families rather than the superficial way that it had often been depicted in the past. This song demonstrates the profound emotional consequences of a husband’s unfaithfulness on a young child and his mother. No one in 1976 thought that this song was “creepy” or believed that “it could have been a lot worse.” Your twisted take on the simple, heartfelt lyrics demonstrates a very odd perspective although not unusual for you based upon your previous off-base posts.

  2. Ken October 20, 2016 at 9:21 am

    After Jim Reeves tragic death in a plane crash on July 31, 1964 the management of his legacy became the responsibility of his widow Mary. The RCA Victor tape vault contained many unreleased recordings as well as publishing demos that had not been intended for commercial release. By judiciously controlling the release of Jim’s recordings Mary kept him on the country singles chart and created best selling albums into the 1980’s. Jim’s career spanned the invention of multi-track tape recording. Recordings made by Jim beginning in the late 1950’s had his voice isolated on a separate track from the background instrumentation. That enabled producers years later to record brand new backing tracks and to surround Jim’s voice with updated or new background vocals. The latter scenario is what created the hit version of “Blue Side Of Lonesome.”

    Jim’s original recording of that great Leon Payne song was made on November 10, 1961 and released on the Camden budget album “The Country Side Of Jim Reeves” [CAS 686] in early 1962. That version features a traditional country sounding arrangement with a prominent steel guitar and runs about 3:21. That is the version linked to at the top of this page. It has mistakenly been issued on several compilations containing Jim’s hits but it was not the single release. On June 16, 1966 Chet Atkins remixed Jim’s vocal with a new backing track in the Nashville RCA studios. One verse of the song was eliminated and the song received an updated “Nashville Sound” string arrangement. It was issued as a single release in 1966 and served as the title track for Jim’s 1967 album [RCA Victor LSP-3793] By the way that album and three other posthumous Jim Reeves LP’s from the late 1960’s have just been released on CD for the first time on a 2 disc set by BGO Records in the U.K. Details here:

    Here is the 2:44 single version of “Blue Side Of Lonesome” that topped the country chart in 1966.

    • Razor X October 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      How did his widow manage to gain control of managing his output? Wouldn’t that normally have been RCA’s responsibility?

      • Ken October 25, 2016 at 11:27 am

        Managing an artist’s releases are not necessarily the exclusive domain of their record label. The frequency of releases, album song content and the selection of single releases may actually be controlled by the artist depending upon the terms of their contract. The record label usually has significant control early in their career but as they attain success most artists will negotiate more favorable terms for subsequent agreements. One famous example is that during his lifetime Colonel Parker had the absolute final word regarding any of Elvis’ RCA Victor releases.

        Jim Reeves also exerted significant control over his releases. In Reeve’s first biography songwriter Alex Zanetis relates a very heated discussion between Jim and producer Chet Atkins who also served as the head of RCA Victor Records in Nashville. Jim was adamant that the song “Guilty” written by his close friend Zanetis should be released as a single. Atkins resisted because the song exceeded three minutes in length which was a bit longer than the average country record during that era. Chet feared radio programmers might not play it but Reeves held his ground. In the end Reeves was vindicated when the 3:09 recording peaked at #3 in September 1963.

        Jim’s wife Mary took over as his manager in late 1959 around the time that “He’ll Have To Go ” was climbing the charts. She managed his career until his death. Because the couple had no children she was the sole heir to his estate upon his death in 1964 and assumed full control. The unreleased demo recordings that Jim had made in studios other than RCA Victor facilities were exclusively under her control. She referred to those as Jim’s “life insurance policy.” Former RCA executive Harry Jenkins was hired by Mary to oversee business affairs and she worked hand-in-hand with RCA Victor Records to release new Jim Reeves’ singles and albums both in the U.S. and internationally. Mary was actively involved in promoting Jim’s career with interviews, supporting his fan club, responding to fan mail and creating and running the Jim Reeves Museum until it was closed due to her declining health. She died in 1999.

        The museum building fell into severe disrepair and was demolished when the property was sold. A Home Depot store now stands on that site. I visited the museum several times during the 1980’s & early 90’s and it was indeed a wonderful tribute to Jim’s life and career. The beautiful house was packed with memorabilia including awards, a recreation of his radio studio and his tour bus & 1960 Cadillac. The gift shop kept every one of Jim’s recordings in stock. It’s gone now but here’s a video of that museum:

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