I.O.U. (Jimmy Dean song)

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Single by Jimmy Dean
from the album I.O.U.
B-side Let's Pick Up The Pieces
Released April 1976
Format 7"
Recorded c. January 1976
Genre Country
Label Casino Records 052
Writer(s) Jimmy Dean and Larry Markes
Producer(s) Gary S. Paxton
Jimmy Dean singles chronology
"Your Sweet Love (Keeps Me Homeward Bound)"
"To a Sleeping Beauty"

I.O.U. is a song written by Jimmy Dean and Larry Markes, and recorded most famously by Dean. A recitation with an instrumental backing that paid homage to mothers and motherhood, "I.O.U." became Dean's first top 10 country hit in 10 years and briefly sparked the comeback of sentimental-style recitations.

Song background[edit]

Dean's last top 10 hit on the Hot Country Singles chart was "Stand Beside Me," which peaked at No. 10 in 1966. In the ensuing years, Dean's single releases charted at progressively lower positions.

In 1976, Dean wrote and recorded a tribute to mothers. Throughout the piece, a young man reflects on the many roles his mother played through the years: nurse, mediator, protector, doctor, cook, entertainer and the rock by which the family held together. By the end of the song, he admits that while payment for services rendered through the years is long overdue, he knows that any such request to make a payment will be marked "paid in full" ... "For just one kiss and four little words....Mom, I love you!'"

Chart history[edit]

"I.O.U." was released in April 1976, shortly before Mother's Day. The song became an unexpected success and peaked at No. 9 on the Hot Country Singles chart by the end of May. The song also crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100 (where Dean had enjoyed crossover success throughout the early- to mid-1960s), and eventually peaked at No. 35.

Greg Adams of Allmusic wrote, "'I.O.U.' was very successful and Dean, in tandem with Red Sovine, put the old-fashioned recitation back on the charts for a while"[1] (referring to Sovine's hit "Teddy Bear").

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1976) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 9
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 35
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 47
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 38
Canadian RPM Top Singles 30
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 3
Chart (1977) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 90