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Single Of The Day-Eddy Arnold “Before This Day Ends”

Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always found on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player.  Your Single Of The Day for today, is an Eddy Arnold release that has long been buried into the far reaches in the musical memory banks of most fans.

Sometimes, you have to wonder just what record company execs think.  For instance, why would you issue a single on a song that was just recently a hit for another artist in the same genre?  Now, granted, there was a time when having an artist cover another’s hit was the norm; in fact, until the mid-to-late 1950’s, it wasn’t unusual for multiple versions of a song to chart at the same time on the same chart.  For instance, in 1952 and 1953, there were no less than four versions of “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” that made the Country top ten.  And I know of at least one more version that was on the market, but failed to chart.  Five versions of “Candy Kisses” made the top ten in 1949, while a sixth fell just short.

By the 1960’s, though, this practice was becoming increasingly scarce.  Yet, RCA Victor decided to try it with Eddy Arnold on today’s Single Of The Day.  And the result was not a big hit single.

“Before This Day End” had just become a top five Country hit for George Hamilton IV (who was still with ABC-Paramount, at the time) in the Fall of 1960.  Yet shortly after the Hamilton version peaked, RCA issued Eddy Arnold’s version.  Eddy’s disc debuted in January, 1961, and did crack the Country 30, peaking at twenty-three.  Eddy’s version is as good as the George Hamilton IV version (I like both, really well), and has a very similar overall sound, in arrangement and tempo (which is medium).  I think, though, that similarity may be one of the reasons why Eddy’s version didn’t do as well.  If his version had sounded entirely different, it might have worked.  In fact, the next time RCA tried that with Eddy, it did work, when they issued his single “Misty Blue” in the Spring of 1967, not long after Wilma Burgess’ version had peaked.  Whereas her version  peaked at four, the Eddy Arnold version peaked at three.  Wilma Burgess could take solace, though, in that her record spent 16 weeks on the Country 40, to only 14 for Eddy Arnold’s version.

Your thoughts?

Saving vinyl, one record at a time.


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