Making Believe

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Making Believe is a country music song written by Jimmy Work and best known for its chart-topping version in 1955 by Kitty Wells. The song is consistently on lists of all-time greatest country music songs and has been covered by scores of artists over the past fifty years, including Thorleifs, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff, Wanda Jackson, Connie Francis, Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Ernest Tubb, Social Distortion, Skeeter Davis, The Haden Triplets and Volbeat. The song is occasionally called (and performed as) "Makin' Believe".

Singer-songwriter Work released the song as a single in February 1955 on Dot Records, climbing to #5 on Billboard's country music jukebox charts.[1] A month later, country music queen Kitty Wells released the song as well as a single which hit #2 on the country charts[2] and remained there an astonishing 15 weeks, still a record for a song in the runner-up position on the country Billboard charts. The song was blocked to #1 by the 21-weeks long In the Jailhouse Now by Webb Pierce.

The song is a melancholy ballad about not getting over a former lover. The singer daydreams that they are still loved by the old flame even while fully knowing "you'll never be mine" again. The song was a perfect match for Kitty Wells' legendary wistful vocal style and is perhaps her most popular song outside of her career record "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels".

The song received new attention with no less than three single releases in 1977-78, The Kendalls hitting #80 with the song, their first release on Ovation Records. A few months later, Emmylou Harris climbed to #7 with her version.[3] The following January, Merle Haggard received considerable airplay for his version, which was the B side of his then current release "Running Kind". Billy Joe Royal also released a cover version of the song.

Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty released a duet version of the song in 1988 and used it as the title track for their final album together. Although the song was not a radio hit for them, it was a popular number at their concerts and the album sold fairly well via television ads.

Chart performance[edit]

Jimmy Work[edit]

Chart (1955) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 5

Kitty Wells[edit]

Chart (1955) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 2

The Kendalls[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 80

Emmylou Harris[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 8
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 87

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 397. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 377. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 152. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"It's Late (And I Have to Go)"
by Carroll Baker
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

August 13, 1977
Succeeded by
"I Can't Love You Enough"
by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn