Greetings from Asheville, where good music always plays on the turntable. Today’s Classic 45 comes from a legend of country music and rock ‘n’ roll, Jerry Lee Lewis. By 1973, Jerry Lee was long beyond his glory days of Rock ‘N Roll, yet he remained a viable Country act, doing so through 1981. On the Pop side, Jerry had scored four top ten hits, but none since 1958, when the scandal broke over his marriage to his 13-year-old first cousin (once removed) Myra Gale Lewis. He hadn’t even seen the Pop top forty since a very brief 1970 appearance with “Me and Bobbie McGee”. Yet on the Country side, he had been able to resuscitate his career, starting with 1968’s “Another Place, Another Time”. That began a string of hits that included today’s featured single that debuted in May 1973.
“Drinking Wine Spo-Dee O’ Dee” is from Jerry’s highly successful “Sessions” album, and peaked at twenty on Billboard’s Country charts. It narrowly missed the Pop top forty, stopping at forty-one, his last pop appearance. In Cashbox, “Drinking Wine…” climbed to twenty-one, while in Record World it peaked at nineteen.
“Drinking Wine Spo-Dee O’ Dee” first made its appearance in 1947 with Stick McGhee (who also co-wrote the song). In 1949, McGhee rerecorded the song and it became a top five R & B hit.
As for the rest of Jerry Lee Lewis’ career, in addition to the four top ten Pop hits, he would also have five top ten R & B hits. But it was Country where he really excelled. He scored twenty-eight top ten hits in Billboard, between 1957 and 1981, with six making it to number one. Numbers that should have already netted him a Country Music Hall of Fame induction. So, why is Jerry Lee Lewis, who IS deservedly in the Rock Hall of Fame, NOT yet in the Country Music Hall of Fame????? Think about it.
As always, your comments, thoughts, memories, and opinions are always welcome.
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.