Room Full of Roses

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"Room Full of Roses"
Single by Mickey Gilley
from the album Room Full of Roses
A-side "Room Full of Roses"
B-side "She Called Me Baby"
Released April 1974
Format 7"
Recorded 1973
Genre Country
Length 2:50
Label Playboy
50056
Writer(s) Tim Spencer
Producer(s) Mickey Gilley
Mickey Gilley singles chronology
"Now I Can Live Again"
(1968)
"Room Full of Roses"
(1974)
"I Overlooked an Orchid"
(1974)

"Room Full of Roses", written by Tim Spencer, is a song first recorded in 1949 by country music singer George Morgan, and famously covered in 1974 by up-and-coming singer Mickey Gilley. The Gilley version was his first major hit and broke open his career.

Background[edit]

In 1973, Mickey Gilley was enjoying brisk business with his nightclub, Gilley's Club, when he cut four sides for his own label, Astro Records. Those songs included "She Called Me Baby" (for a local jukebox owner), "Abilene" and "When Two Worlds Collide." The fourth was "Room Full of Roses," a song written by Sons of the Pioneers member Tim Spencer that had been recorded by George Morgan.[1] The song had already become somewhat of a country crooner standard, after it had been recorded by Jim Reeves for his 1960 album The Intimate Jim Reeves and by Dean Martin for his 1963 album Dean "Tex" Martin: Country Style.

Gilley never intended to have a hit with "Room Full of Roses," as it was designated the B-side for "She Called Me Baby." In fact, Gilley was not even happy with the final product of that recording. "I liked 'She Called Me Baby,' and thought to myself, well, I finally got something." Gilley once told Country Music magazine. "Then I flipped the record over. All I could hear was that damn steel guitar. The echo was just bounding off the walls.'"[citation needed]

Country music writer Tom Roland also noted that Gilley got lost during the piano interlude during the middle portion of the song, but "somehow managed to come out of it in sync with the studio band." Other flaws pointed out included muffled lyrics and excessive "echo" (to conceal the song being recorded out of tune).[2]

Gilley was resigned, however, to the song being "terrible," as he saw the record being distributed only in the Houston, Texas area. However, the song quickly became popular and was later picked up for national distribution by the newly formed Playboy Records.[3][4]

Released in April 1974, the song soon became Gilley's first No. 1 hit on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart.

Other versions[edit]

The original George Morgan version was released in the summer of 1949, and would reach No. 4 on the Billboard country chart that August. A Sons of the Pioneers version reached #10 on the country charts in the same year.

Chart performance[edit]

Release date Artist Chart Positions
U.S. C&W U.S. CAN C&W CAN
1949 George Morgan 4 25
1949 Dick Haymes 6
1949 Don Cornell & Sammy Kaye 2
1949 The Sons of the Pioneers 10 26
1974 Mickey Gilley 1 50 6 57

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits" (Billboard Books, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1991 (ISBN 0-82-307553-2)), p. 115
  2. ^ "Country Music: The Encyclopedia," St. Martin's Press, New York, 1997 (ISBN 0-312-15121-7)
  3. ^ Roland.
  4. ^ "Country Music: The Encyclopedia."
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs: 1944-2005," 2006.
Preceded by
"This Time"
by Waylon Jennings
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

June 29, 1974
Succeeded by
"He Thinks I Still Care"
by Anne Murray