Great Country Songs from the 1970s, Pt. 9

Paul W. Dennis | August 6th, 2009

Here are some more songs that I like; one song per artist, not necessarily his or her biggest hit. As always, I consider myself free to comment on other songs by the artist.

Arkansas”– Teddy & Doyle Wilburn (1972)
The last chart hit for a duo that was of more importance as businessmen than as recording artists. This song got to #47 (#29 on Cashbox). The Wilburns remained important for many years to follow through their publishing companies and other enterprises. One of their protégés, Patty Loveless, is still actively recording and performing.

One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show” – Little David Wilkins (1975)
This song got to #11; it figures that an equally large performer, Johnny Russell, was his closest friend in the business.

We Should Be Together” – Don Williams (1974)
Don’s first top five record. The single issued immediately prior to this, “Come Early Morning” b/w “Amanda,” was a double sided hit, with the two sides splitting airplay. This record was issued on the small JMI label. Within a year Don would be signed by a major label and his career would jet into the stratosphere.

Why Don’t You Love Me” – Hank Williams (1976)
I don’t know why MGM reissued this 1950 single that spent 10 weeks at #1 in its original release. It only got to #61 this time around, but any excuse to list a Hank Williams single is welcome.

Eleven Roses” – Hank Williams, Jr. (1972)
This Darrell McCall penned song spent two weeks at #1. I was torn between listing this song or “I’ll Think Of Something,” which Mark Chesnutt took to #1 in 1992. The pre-outlaw Hank Jr. was a pretty good straight ahead country singer.

Country Girl With Hot Pants On” – Leona Williams (1972)
Great singer-songwriter, better remembered as one of the Hag’s ex-wives. While it’s been 26 years since she charted, she still is issuing great albums for the Heart of Texas label.

I Wanna Go Country” – Otis Williams and The Midnight Cowboys (1971)
One of several black singers to attempt to follow Charley Pride, this all-black band from the Cincinnati area was led by the former lead singer of The Charms, who had several pop hits during the 1950s including “Hearts of Stone.” This was the only record to chart but it, and the album from which it came, were both excellent.

The Night Miss Nancy Ann’s Hotel For Single Girls Burned Down” – Tex Williams (1972)
Tex was a big star during the 1940s, both as part of Spade Cooley’s band and on his own, with mega-hit “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette)” which went #1 country (16 weeks) and pop (6 weeks) in 1947. This amusing story reached #29 Billboard#18 Cashbox–his last real hit. Tex died in 1985 of lung cancer.

Ida Red” – Bob Wills (1976)
New version of Bob’s 1938 hit–reached #99 for one week.

There’s A Song On The Jukebox” – David Wills (1975)
This was one of two top ten records for Wills, a protégé of Charlie Rich, who produced his first three singles. I don’t hear any resemblance to Rich, but he was a fine singer.

Do It To Someone You Love” – Norro Wilson (1970)
The only top twenty record for one of Nashville’s leading producers and songwriters. Charlie Rich had huge hits with his “The Most Beautiful Girl,” “Very Special Love Song” and “I Love My Friend.”

Johnny’s Cash and Charley’s Pride” – Mac Wiseman (1970)
Mac is probably the best bluegrass vocalist–ever. Known as ‘The Voice With A Heart,’ this amusing record went top forty, a major feat for a 50 year old bluegrass artist.

The Wonders You Perform” – Tammy Wynette (1971)
Just a song I happen to like. This record reached #1 on Record World and #2 on Cashbox.

Goin’ Steady” – Faron Young (1971)
A remake of his 1952 smash, this sped up version is probably my favorite Faron Young track. From 1969 to 1971, Faron had six songs reach #1 on one or more of the major charts. “Step Aside.” “Leavin’ and Sayin’ Goodbye” and “Four In The Morning” were also classic songs from this period.

Read other playlists in the Great Country Songs from the 1970s series:

  1. Rick
    August 7, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Well Paul, looks like you’ve made it through the 1970’s. Whew! (lol) I must say I was surprised to see Tex Williams on the list as I figured he’d given up releasing radio singles way back in the 1950’s. How ironic that an artist who’s biggest hit was “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette” should die of lung cancer.

    I also was amazed to see Bob Wills releasing a radio single in 1976! Talk about someone never giving up!

    Its nice to read Faron Young “The Singing Sheriff” was still going strong in the late 60’s to early 70’s. It wasn’t long after that when mainstream country music went all to hell! (lol – just kidding as this entire series proved repeatedly).

    That was a fun series. Thanks!

  2. kevin w
    August 8, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Wow, “One monkey don’t stop no show” My mom always wanted to find this song, to no avail. I wondered if this song even exsisted, and I know now that it does.

  3. Larry L
    April 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Lookin’ for a 70’s country song called in the shadows of love. Can’t find anything but the popp song by the 4 tops, that was redone billions of times. Any help would be appreciated.

  4. C K
    July 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    WOW! Thanks for this wonderful list!! Does ANYONE remember the “novelty” songs of the 70’s? My local channel played one called “Making Love In the Graveyard at Night” – and nobody believes me! LOL any feedback appreciated

  5. James
    November 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    CK, I was a DJ at a country station in the early 90s and used to play that song. It was on record. I’ve searched and searched to try and find the band. It was an obscure bluegrass band if I remember right.

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