Bobby Bare, the country music hall of famer, has scored 59 appearances on Billboard‘s Country Top 40, between 1962 and 1983. Thirteen made the top ten, and one, “Marie Laveau” hit number one. With all of that success, why am I saluting one of his long-forgotten singles? Simple. Despite it’s non-hit status, it’s a great record that deserves to be remembered.
In 1962, Bobby was a country music newcomer. He had scored one pop hit in 1959 with “All American Boy”, though the record was mistakenly credited to his friend, Bill Parsons. Bobby finally saw his name on the charts in 1962. That year, “Shame On Me” became a top twenty pop hit and a top forty country hit. For his follow-up, RCA Victor chose to release Bobby’s version of “I Don’t Believe I’ll Fall In Love Today”. The song was a top five country hit, just two years earlier, for both Warren Smith and Ray Price (Ray sang it as “I Wish That I Could Fall In Love Today”). Bobby’s version is more of a pop sounding track, and undoubtedly, that’s the market Victor had in mind.
Released in October, 1962, the record, unfortunately, quickly faded. It failed to chart on either Billboard or Cashbox‘s country charts. On the pop side, it only “bubbled under” Billboard‘s top 100, at #118. It did a little better in Cashbox, spending a week at #99.
Of course, I can’t say why it basically tanked. Whether RCA didn’t give it much promotion, or radio music directors didn’t warm up to it, or perhaps there was just a glut of good records at the time. Whatever the reason, it’s a record deserving of a better fate than it got, in my opinion. Strong song by a legendary songwriter (Harlan Howard) and sung by a great singer. One positive for the track is that it did get included on his 1963 album “Detroit City”.
As previously noted, Bobby would ultimately land in the Country Music Hall Of Fame. And the song, after hitting the top five for both Ray Price and Warren Smith, would eventually return to the top five in 1988. That year it became the final top ten hit for another future hall of famer, Barbara Mandrell, who used the Ray Price title.
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, and focuses on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.