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EVERY Billboard #1 country hit discussion thread 1985-1989

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by W.B., Aug 12, 2020.

  1. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    With the 1980-84 period done and gone, we go to the second half of the 1980's. The sea change that enveloped country music was continuing in full bloom, with yet more acts seeing Number One for the first time (starting with, of all people, Ray Charles, and continuing with the likes of Sawyer Brown, Gary Morris, Randy Travis, The Forester Sisters, Restless Heart, T. Graham Brown, Michael Johnson, S-K-O, The O'Kanes, K.T. Oslin, Steve Wariner, Ricky Van Shelton, Dan Seals, Dwight Yoakam, Highway 101, Kathy Mattea, Keith Whitley, The Desert Rose Band, Shenandoah, Patty Loveless, Clint Black and Garth Brooks), and a few stalwarts reaching the top for the last time (such as Conway Twitty, Crystal Gayle, Merle Haggard and Ronnie Milsap).

    In this five-year stretch, a total of 199 records took their turn at the top, including one year where every week of that year had a different Number One; some toppers had carried over from one year to the next. The durations we look at each one will thus once again be relatively fast and furious compared with other Number One threads dealing with the Hot 100 and R&B charts.

    An "end of an era" came in 1986 when onetime chart stalwart Buck Owens left the long-running syndicated Hee Haw, maintaining that his participation in the show made it hard for anyone to take him seriously anymore; two years later, in a duet with Dwight Yoakam on his old song "Streets Of Bakersfield," he would make the top of the country charts one last time.

    1989 would be the last year of all this craziness of one Number One a week; starting the next year a new system of tabulation would be introduced by Billboard which would once again give country songs longer runs at the top, as was the norm until the early 1970's.

    As we wait for the first of these Number Ones to be unwrapped, here are the other charts for y'all to peruse (and comment, if you haven't already) for your edification:

    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit discussion thread 1944-1949 (where it all started)
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit discussion thread 1950-1954
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit discussion thread 1955-1959
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit of the 1960's discussion thread
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit discussion thread 1970-1974 (a few more, and then that'll wind down)
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit of 1975 discussion thread (the thread that started this whole look)
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit of 1976 discussion thread.
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit of 1977 discussion thread
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit of 1978 discussion thread
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit of 1979 discussion thread
    and the one just ended:
    EVERY Billboard #1 country hit discussion thread 1980-1984

    After a sufficient break, the first of all this.
     
    WolfSpear likes this.
  2. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    And now, for the first song of the second half of the decade . . .
    "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind" by George Strait
    (#1 for 1 week - January 5, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry
     
  3. WLL

    WLL Popery Of Mopery

    ...I think Waylon Jennings still made #1 in this period, so I can add something I really should have added back in the late 70s - I saw Waylon live, in 1979 or so, with his backing band the Waylors and the Crickets as openers - The Crickets disappointed me maybe though I wanted to see them - I saw Waylon as escort/date for my mother, and the concert was in an unusual venue - One of the Broadway legitimate stage theaters in mid-town Manhattan.
    Some promoter booked that theater - waa it th St. James? the Shubert? - for eight or so " Country Goes Broadway " concerts, of which Waylon's waa the second and the last - Conway Twitty was going to play later on in the series and my mom and I were going to go but it got called off. It's listed in the Internet Broadway Database, I just don't have time to check it!!!!!
    Hey, Mott The Hoople cut a live album in a Broadway theater...
     
  4. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Now to move on to . . .
    "The Best Year Of My Life" by Eddie Rabbitt
    (#1 for 1 week - January 12, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry
     
    baptistbusman likes this.
  5. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    And coming up afterwards . . .
    "How Blue" by Reba McEntire
    (#1 for 1 week - January 19, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry - and perhaps the first where she found her own voice.
     
    McLover and r2rcollector like this.
  6. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Next one up . . .
    "(There's A) Fire In The Night" by Alabama
    (#1 for 1 week - January 26, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry
     
    McLover likes this.
  7. WLL

    WLL Popery Of Mopery






    ...I seem to recall this having a brief kerfluffle at the time - when RCA made a video for it and I guess it was declared too naughty and RCA wanted all copies destroyed?:yikes:?
    I don"t know that this destruction was carried out:angel:...........
     
  8. WLL

    WLL Popery Of Mopery

    ...U recall a comment somewhere in here about a single edit that has never been on CD. By Bob Seger:eek:? Who waa it? I don"t right now have time to look through all of this on my itty-bitty phone.
     
  9. WLL

    WLL Popery Of Mopery

    ...I found that earlier comment a about Nashville producers having a difficult time dealing with early digital interesting!
     
  10. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Now for this . . .
    "A Place To Fall Apart" by Merle Haggard (With Janie Fricke)
    (#1 for 1 week - February 2, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry
     
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  11. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    And then . . .
    "Ain't She Something Else" by Conway Twitty
    (#1 for 1 week - February 9, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry
     
    r2rcollector likes this.
  12. MikeM

    MikeM Senior Member

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    I'm following the thread, of course, but have no comments until now — mostly because I was pretty much away from country music for the first part of the era you're spotlighting, so I honestly haven't yet known most of these songs.

    When you get to 1987, you'll hit the era where I went to work at a country music radio station again for the first time in 11 years. Right around that time, some of the new blood entering the industry also invigorated it, so things will get much more interesting.

    Meanwhile, I'm pleased to see Jerry Foster and Bill Rice on the writing credits here. I got to know Jerry pretty well ca. 1973 when he was making an attempt to establish himself as a performer rather than just a songwriter. The small country station I was working for at the time put a big push behind him, and my sister ran his fan club for a while.

    I even had the chance to jam with him one night at a party. He's a great guy.
     
    McLover likes this.
  13. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    It'll be awhile before we get to '87 and the period you got to work where you did. That's because practically every week had a new country #1. I have to time it very carefully in order to synchronize with the pop #1's thread to ensure ending a year at the same time. But by all means, all contributions are welcome.
     
  14. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    After that . . .
    "Make My Life With You" by the Oak Ridge Boys
    (#1 for 1 week - February 16, 1985)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry
     
  15. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Comin' right up . . .
    "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On" by Mel McDaniel
    (#1 for 1 week - February 23, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry - the first and last C&W Number One to Mr. McDaniel's name.
     
    McLover and Galaga King like this.
  16. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Now for this one . . .
    "Baby Bye Bye" by Gary Morris
    (#1 for 1 week - March 2, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry - . . . the first Number One for this gent over on this side.
     
  17. Price.pittsburgh

    Price.pittsburgh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    This is the rise of the Randy Travis era. Without Randy coming along who knows what would have happened
     
  18. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    We ain't there yet, but . . .
     
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  19. Price.pittsburgh

    Price.pittsburgh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    I know that's why I wasn't mentioning any specific tracks just a general observation.
     
  20. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Next . . .
    "My Only Love" by The Statler Brothers
    (#1 for 1 week - March 9, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry - notice how writer (and Statlers member) Jimmy Fortune's surname is misspelt . . .
     
  21. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Sorry for the long hibernation . . . getting back to the swing o' things . . .
    "Crazy For Your Love" by Exile
    (#1 for 1 week - March 16, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry
     
    McLover likes this.
  22. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Here's one where half is in a way (but not that much) out of left field . . .
    "Seven Spanish Angels" by Ray Charles (With Willie Nelson)
    (#1 for 1 week - March 23, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry - the most successful of "The Genius' " country entries (out of a total of eight that had charted), for someone whose R&B reworkings of old country tunes in the 1960's have long passed into the annals of legend.
     
    McLover and r2rcollector like this.
  23. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Next one up . . .
    "Crazy" by Kenny Rogers
    (#1 for 1 week - March 30, 1985)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry - could only muster #79 on Hot 100.
     
    baptistbusman likes this.
  24. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Following it . . .
    "Country Girls" by John Schneider
    (#1 for 1 week - April 6, 1985)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry
     
  25. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Then coming up afterwards . . .
    "Honor Bound" by Earl Thomas Conley
    (#1 for 1 week - April 13, 1985)

    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia entry
     

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