That Was Yesterday (Donna Fargo song)

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"That Was Yesterday"
Single by Donna Fargo
from the album Fargo Country
B-side "The Cricket Song"
Released April 1977
Format 7"
Recorded March 1976
Genre Country
Length 3:19
Label Warner Bros.
8375
Writer(s) Donna Fargo
Producer(s) Stan Silver
Donna Fargo singles chronology
"Mockin' Bird Hill"
(1977)
"That Was Yesterday"
(1977)
"Shame On Me"
(1977)

"That Was Yesterday" is a song written and recorded by country music singer Donna Fargo. The song became her sixth and final No. 1 song on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in the summer of 1977.

Background[edit]

When she first tried cutting "That Was Yesterday," Fargo was dissatisfied with the finished product - she had claimed the song sounded too much like Patsy Cline, and instead she (Fargo) was more of a writer/interpreter, she told Patsi Cox of Country Soung Roundup magazine.[1] But since Warner Bros. Records had already committed to the track, she decided to take a copy of the session tape home and attempt to come up with a better product.

At first, she had written some prose, envisioning alternating between the existing vocal track and a speaking part. But nobody liked that either. Then, she decided to recite the lyrics from start to finish, with a chorus backing her. That version worked, and it was released as a single.[2]

The finished product, styled in the country pop vein, reflects on a relationship that had just ended. The narrator speaks about the many good times and positive attributes of her now-ex. She then tries to point at what caused the relationship to fail and that all those good times shared together are now a thing of the past, but then admits she still has a positive outlook for both of their futures.

Chart performance[edit]

"That Was Yesterday" reached No. 1 on July 2, 1977, knocking Waylon Jennings' "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)" out of the Hot Country Singles chart's top spot after six weeks. In doing so, the song earned two distinctions:

  • It became just the second wall-to-wall recitation to reach No. 1 during the 1970s. To date, "That Was Yesterday" is the last all-spoken-word song to top the Billboard country chart.
  • It became the first single on the Warner Bros. Records label to reach the No. 1 spot on the Billboard country chart.[3]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Preceded by
"Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)"
by Waylon Jennings
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

July 2, 1977
Succeeded by
"I'll Be Leaving Alone"
by Charley Pride
Preceded by
"I'll Be Leaving Alone"
by Charley Pride
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

July 16-July 23, 1977
Succeeded by
"It's Late (And I Have to Go)"
by Carroll Baker

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. 196.
  2. ^ ibid.
  3. ^ ibid.
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs: 1944-2005," 2006.