HERC's 1978 - The Country 45s Edition

After the rigmarole of compiling his list of 100 favorite albums of 1982, HERC took a short breather and then jumped into 1978.  Only this time instead of albums, he's featuring his 100 favorite singles with one caveat: only one song per artist. And instead of ranking them from one to a hundred, he's breaking them up by genre.  Like it kinda sorta says at the top of the page, these are his favorite country singles from 1978. Back then, there wasn't a radio station playing country music, at least not on HERC's dial.  Most of these are crossover hits, songs that WLS played or that showed up on Casey Coast To Coast.  Some of them might have even been on the Cow Talk jukebox that summer in Navasota, Texas.  The one thing HERC can say for sure is that they are in regular rotation here at The Hideaway.

Both Waylon and Willie had huge solo hits in 1978 and Nelson's
Stardust, with production and playing by Booker T. Jones,
remains one of HERC's favorite albums.  But this song won 
theshoot-out.  Truer parental advice has never been sung.
The Eagles had been her backing band so the country rock
sound came easy to our hometown gal Ronstadt.  Actually,
every song she has ever sung, from folk to country to rock to
new wave to mariachi sounds effortless.  When this song
peaked at #5 in December 1977, Ronstadt also had the #4
single that week with her cover of Orbison's beautiful
"Blue Bayou".
On that same chart from December 1977, this song sat at
#2 for the third straight week.  That would prove to be
it's best showing on the pop chart though it did top the
country chart.  Crystal Gayle has a voice that drives HERC
wild and this song is tailor-made for it.
Sounding very Rod Stewart like, Bonnie Tyler's song
actually fared better on the pop chart (#3) than the
country chart (#10).  HERC first heard this song on the K-Tel
album Starburst.  Stewart himself would finally record the
song in 2006.  
HERC was in a drug store in the early 80s when all of a
sudden, a voice came over the PA and said "Hey Boss!"
and then this song began to play as this guy came down
the aisle, knocking everything off the shelf on his way out
the front door.

Some of the best country songs are story songs and this
is certainly one of the best.  Kenny went on to star in
thirty-two different made for television movies based on
this song, many of which were filmed here in town.
This #1 country song, despite all of its pop trappings only
made to #102 on the pop charts.  Together with her sisters 

Irlene and the drop-dead gorgeous Louise,
Mandrell would star in a variety show from 1980-1982.

Dolly Parton had 42 Top 40 hits on the Country chart before
crossing over with her first Top 40 Pop hit in 1977.  She would
go on to have five more, including two #1s, over the next six years.
On the previously mentioned December 10, 1977 Hot 100 chart,
this song was at #12 and climbing before peaking at #3 four
weeks later.

1 comment:

  1. I always loved how country crossed over in the 70's. All of these are great songs - I totally agree with your comments.