Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable. Today’s Classic 45 is slick, sultry sound that Barbara Mandrell released, forty-one years ago in 1979.
Barbara Mandrell had been charting singles since 1970, and had enjoyed some success, with several top ten hits, including a number one on Cashbox’s country chart in 1973 with “The Midnight Oil”. But it wasn’t until the later part of the decade, after she left Columbia for ABC/Dot (later MCA) that her career really took off. Coming in to 1979, four of her previous five singles had been top five hits. The last of those, “Sleeping Single in A Double Bed”, had become her first Billboard number one hit.
As the new year dawned, it was time for a new single to be released. And the song chosen (from her then-current album, Moods) was a cover of Luther Ingram’s 1972 hit “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right”. Luther’s version had hit number one in R & B, and top five on the pop side.
Barbara’s release debuted on the major charts in February, and quickly rose. By April, it was topping Billboard (one week) and Cashbox (three weeks). The industry’s third major chart of the time, Radio and Records, had it peaking at number two, stuck behind Kenny Rogers & Dottie West’s “All I Ever Need Is You”.
The record also brought Barbara Mandrell her greatest crossover success, as it became a top ten Adult Contemporary hit, and briefly appeared in Billboard’s Top 40 pop charts, peaking at thirty-one.
It’s a far cry from traditional hard-country music, possessing a slick, sultry sound that Barbara excelled at. It’s a perfect mix of blue-eyed soul and country. Mixing country and pop isn’t so bad when the results are like this.
Saving vinyl one record at a time.
About The Author
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, model railroader, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, focusing 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.