My Kind of Country

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

Week ending 7/29/17: #1 singles this week in country music history

1957 (Sales): Bye Bye Love — The Everly Brothers (Cadence)

1957 (Disc Jockeys): Bye Bye Love — The Everly Brothers (Cadence)

1967: Tonight Carmen — Marty Robbins (Columbia)

1977It Was Almost Like a Song — Ronnie Milsap (RCA)

1987: The Weekend — Steve Wariner (MCA)

1997: Carrying Your Love With Me — George Strait (MCA)

2007: Lost in This Moment — Big & Rich (Warner Bros.)

2017: Body Like a Back Road — Sam Hunt (MCA)

2017 (Airplay): My Girl — Dylan Scott (Curb)

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One response to “Week ending 7/29/17: #1 singles this week in country music history

  1. Ken July 30, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Although Marty Robbins maintained a constant presence on the country charts during the mid-1960’s his success rate was inconsistent. When “Tonight Carmen” ascended to #1 during the final week of July 1967 he had not scored a top ten hit in Billboard for almost a year. His non-LP single “The Shoe Goes On The Other Foot Tonight” climbed to #3 in September 1966. Two subsequent releases both stalled outside the top ten in early 1967. “Mr. Shorty” peaked at #16 in January although it did perform better in Cashbox climbing to #5. His next single “No Tears Milady” stalled at #16 in March and the flip side “Fly Butterfly Fly” topped out at #34 the following month. [Both sides peaked in Cashbox at #28 and #14 respectively]

    “Tonight Carmen” was written by Marty and employed a device used by several other country songs from that era in that a narrative was created that ended with an unexpected twist. The lyric leads the listener to believe that Marty is reuniting with a former significant other for a night of illicit passion. But in the final verse he legitimizes his intentions by revealing that she is in fact his wife. Bill Anderson used a similar story line for his 1968 hit “Wild Weekend.” A bit of social history is important to understand because sleeping with someone other than a spouse in the 1960’s was generally considered socially unacceptable and even regarded as somewhat scandalous.

    The studio recording was made on April 12, 1967 with an arrangement created by Bill McElhiney that included Mexicali trumpets. Marty wrote the song with extremely long verses and in a rapid fire delivery that did not allow him room to catch a full breath between words. His performance was top notch and deserving of a #1 hit. A live performance is linked to above. Below is the single hit version.

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