You May Be Surprised To Learn About These Beloved Country Songs That Never Topped The Charts
For country artists, it’s a big deal whenever one of their songs hits number one. As you would expect, some of the greatest country songs of all time have been number one hits.
But sometimes, a perfectly good song falls short of that coveted spot at the top of the charts. This happens more often than you think, even to country music’s timeless songs.
Believe it or not, all of the songs in this list never claimed the number one spot on the U.S. country charts. Despite that, these songs have all earned a legendary status. A few of these have since gone on to become their respective artists’ signature songs.
Of course, these aren’t all of the timeless country tunes that have never hit number one. These are just some of the songs we thought you’d be most surprised to hear about.
1. “Angels Among Us” By Alabama
Alabama is one of the most successful groups in country music history, with over 30 number one hits on the Billboard charts. But surprisingly, one song that never reached the top spot was their emotional single, “Angels Among Us.”
“Angels Among Us” was released by Alabama as a Christmas single in 1993. Although it managed to make it on the charts, it fell short of the Top 50. The song continued to climb up the charts over the course of the next two years, peaking at the 22nd position in 1996.
Today, “Angels Among Us” is regarded as one of Alabama’s greatest songs. Lead singer Randy Owen said the band has received “hundreds of letters from all over the world saying that the song was a blessing.”
2. “Gentle On My Mind” By Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell wasn’t the only one to record “Gentle on My Mind,” but his version is perhaps the most recognizable. Still, he never managed to reach the top spot on the charts with the tune.
“Gentle on My Mind” was first released by Campbell in 1967, and peaked at the 30th spot on the Billboard country chart. He decided to release the song again the following year, but it didn’t perform as well. However, it did manage to claim the 8th spot on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Campbell later used “Gentle on My Mind” as the theme for his variety show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. Now, the song is known as one of his signature pieces.
3. “Coat Of Many Colors” By Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton has said many times before that “Coat of Many Colors” is her favorite song that she has ever written. The sweet little tune was inspired by a real-life experience of Parton’s, after he mama sewed her a coat out of colorful rags.
“Coat of Many Colors” is regarded as one of Parton’s best songs, along with “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You.” But while the latter two hit number one on the charts, “Coat of Many Colors” did not. It still managed to break into the top ten though, and peaked at the fourth spot.
After all of this time, “Coat of Many Colors” remains one of Parton’s most-beloved songs. The tune helped inspire two television movies, Coat of Many Colors and Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, which both attracted millions of viewers.
4. “Troubadour” By George Strait
George Strait has an impressive total of 61 number one hits, more than any other country artist in history. With so many chart-toppers, it makes it all the more surprising that one of “The King of Country’s” most iconic songs never hit number one.
“Troubadour” is a song that is perfectly in line with Strait’s cowboy image. As a result, it was a huge hit when it was released in 2008. Although it broke into the Top 10, it never reached the number one spot. It ended up at the seventh spot and never climbed any higher.
The song is now one of Strait’s signature pieces. During the 2016 CMA Awards, he performed it along with Alan Jackson in a touching tribute to country legends who have passed away. It’s clear that the legacy of “Troubadour” has lasted far longer than its stay on the charts.
5. “That’s My Job” By Conway Twitty
While Strait is the country artist with the most number one hits, Conway Twitty comes in at a strong second place. He gathered up an impressive total of 40 number ones before his death in 1993 at the age of 59.
As you would expect, songs such as “Hello Darlin'” and “The Rose” were ones that led Twitty to the top of the chart. So you’d certainly think that his emotional song “That’s My Job” would have been a chart-topper as well. However, it never climbed any higher than the sixth spot on the U.S. country chart. It did do better in Canada though, where it peaked at the fourth spot.
Even though it never reached the number one spot, “That’s My Job” has gone down in history as one of Twitty’s best songs.
6. “You Ain’t Woman Enough” By Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn is one of the most successful female country artists in history, and has more number ones than we could even begin to count. But it took her a total of six years in the industry before she finally scored her first chart-topping hit with “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’.”
The song Lynn released right before “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin'” was the classic “You Ain’t Woman Enough.” The song was just a hair away from topping the chart…it peaked at the second spot.
Although “You Ain’t Woman Enough” never hit number one, it is now regarded as one of Lynn’s signature songs, even more so than “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’.”
7. “When I Call Your Name” By Vince Gill
“When I Call Your Name” was the breakout hit that Vince Gill had been looking for. Gill had a handful of Top 10 hits prior to its release in 1990, but it was the song that really kicked off his career.
Still, “When I Call Your Name” fell short of the top spot on the chart. It peaked at the second position, and Gill wouldn’t earn his first number one hit until two years later with “I Still Believe in You.”
Although it didn’t hit number one, the importance of “When I Call Your Name” can’t be ignored. It’s the song that introduced the masses to Gill, and we have it to thank for that.
8. “Whiskey River” By Willie Nelson
Johnny Bush co-wrote “Whiskey River,” and was actually the first artist to record it. His version was released in 1972, and reached the 14th spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
You’re probably more familiar with the 1978 version of “Whiskey River,” which was recorded by Willie Nelson. He managed to improve the song’s chart performance, but still never made it into the Top 10. His version ended up at the 12th spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Like many of the other songs on this list, “Whiskey River” went on to become one of Nelson’s signature songs. It is still regarded as such today.
9. “Fancy” By Reba McEntire
Bobbie Gentry wrote this iconic tune, and was also the first one to record it. Her version was a number one hit in Canada and a Top 10 hit on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart, but only reached the 26th spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Over two decades later, Reba McEntire released her own version of the song. It was a smash hit, and did much better on the country chart than Gentry’s version had. However, it never reached number one. The highest it ever climbed up the chart was the eighth position.
That’s all hard to believe, considering the fact that “Fancy” is now McEntire’s most recognizable song, even more so than her several number one hits.
10. “Ramblin’ Fever” By Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard was no stranger to number one hits during his career. But “Ramblin’ Fever” was surprisingly never one of them.
“Ramblin’ Fever” was released in 1977 off of Haggard’s album of the same name. The song managed to reach the second spot on the chart, but was unable to make its way to number one.
While “Ramblin’ Fever” was never a chart-topper, it was always a fan-favorite. Haggard continued to perform the song regularly until his death in April 2016.
11. “Crazy” By Patsy Cline
Bet you never expected to see this one on this list! But it’s true, Patsy Cline only had two number one hits during her too-short career, and “Crazy” wasn’t one of them.
The two songs of Cline’s that did reach the number one spot were “I Fall to Pieces” and “She’s Got You.” It turns out that “Crazy” was released between the two songs, but it couldn’t make it past the chart’s second spot.
It’s so hard to believe that “Crazy” was never a number one hit for Cline, since you can’t even talk about her without mentioning the song as well. Funny how time changes things, isn’t it?
Well, which one of these songs were you the most surprised to see on this list? Let us know in the comments!