Songs of a Love Affair is the debut studio album by American country artist Jean Shepard. The album was released in 1956 on Capitol Records and was produced by Ken Nelson. The release has been said to have been one of country music's first concept albums in history and also one of the first to be released by a female country music artist.
Songs of a Love Affair comprised twelve tracks of recorded material. The record was recorded in five separate recording sessions at the Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, California. The first took place August 26, 1953. It was not until two years later that the album's production was concluded in four separate recording sessions in between December 27 and December 30, 1955. Dan Cooper and Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic noted that Songs of a Love Affair was "arguably the first concept album in country music history," as it was one of the first official LP albums issued in country music and by female artists. The album itself acquired its name from the songs themes that depicted a marriage that was ended by a love affair. One side of the record is written from a romance's dissolution. Songs such as "Passing Love Affair", "Shadows on the Wall", and "Hello Old Broken Heart" depicted the album's theme. The material consisted of all new material, and none were cover versions of other songs. The ninth track entitled "Sad Singin' and Slow Ridin'" was written by country artists Curly Fox and Texas Ruby. The fifth track "Hello Old Broken Heart" was composed by songwriters Joe Allison and Audrey Allison, who would later write the number one single "He'll Have to Go" for Jim Reeves.
Songs of a Love Affair was released as Jean Shepard's debut studio album in 1956 and was the only album she released that year. The album did chart any Billboard Magazine albums list upon its release. Singles were not originally issued from the release, however in 1960 the songs "The Mysteries of Life" and "Did I Turn Down a Better Deal" were spawned from the record. Although two singles were sent to radio, neither charted the Billboard MagazineHot Country Songs chart or make the Billboard MagazineHot 100 list either. The record was originally issued as a 12-inch LP album, and contained six songs on each side of the record.Allmusic reviewed Songs of a Love Affair and gave it four in half out five stars, however a written review was not provided. The album has not been reissued on cassette or compact disc since its original release in 1956.