1964 in country music

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This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in 1964.

List of years in country music (table)

Events[edit]

  • January 11 — Billboard increases the length of its Hot Country Singles chart to 50 positions, up from 30.
  • February 1 — Buck Owens' mega-hit, "Love's Gonna Live Here," finishes its 16-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. To date, it is the most recent song to spend 10 or more weeks atop the chart.
  • July 31 — A private aircraft piloted by Jim Reeves crashes during a thunderstorm near Nashville, Tennessee. Both Reeves and business partner Dean Manuel are killed in the crash; their bodies are found two days later following a massive search for the two missing men. Reeves, already a huge country star, would leave behind hundreds of unreleased recordings; many of those songs became huge posthumous hits during the next decade. Reeves' death comes just 16 months after the airplane crash deaths of Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas, leaving a huge void among country music fans.
  • November 28 — "Once a Day," by Connie Smith, begins an eight-week stay at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. Until 2012, it is the longest-running No. 1 song by a solo female act, and will make the 23-year-old Smith — a native of Elkhart, Indiana — an overnight sensation.

Top hits of the year[edit]

Number one hits[edit]

United States[edit]

(as certified by Billboard)

Date Single Name Artist Wks. No.1 CAN peak Spec. Note
February 8 Begging to You Marty Robbins 2 [2]
  • Returns to Number One February 22.
February 15 B.J. the D.J. Stonewall Jackson 1 [B]
  • Jackson's first Billboard Number One since "Waterloo" in 1959.
March 7 Saginaw, Michigan Lefty Frizzell 4
  • Frizzell's first Billboard Number One since "Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses)" in 1952.
April 4 Understand Your Man Johnny Cash 6
May 16 My Heart Skips a Beat Buck Owens 7 [1], [2]
  • Returns to Number One June 20.
June 6 Together Again Buck Owens 2
July 18 Dang Me Roger Miller 6 3 [A]
  • The first of several songs by Miller that would also reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Pop Chart.
August 29 I Guess I'm Crazy Jim Reeves 7
  • The first of six posthumous Number One hits for Reeves.
October 17 I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me) Buck Owens 6
November 28 Once a Day Connie Smith 8 [C]
  • Became the longest-running Billboard Number One song by a female country artist.
  • With this song, Smith became the first female country artist to top the charts with a debut single.
Notes
  • 1^ No. 1 song of the year, as determined by Billboard.
  • 2^ Song dropped from No. 1 and later returned to top spot.
  • A^ First Billboard No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • B^ Last Billboard No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • C^ Only Billboard No. 1 hit for that artist to date.

Canada[edit]

(as certified by RPM)

Date Single Name Artist Wks. No.1 U.S. peak Spec. Note
September 14 I Guess I'm Crazy Jim Reeves 1 [A]
September 28 I Don't Love You Anymore Charlie Louvin 1 4 [C]
October 5 I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me) Buck Owens 2 [2], [A]
  • Returned to Number One on October 26.
October 12 Please Talk to My Heart Ray Price 2 7 [2], [A]
  • Returned to Number One on November 2.
November 9 Give Me Forty Acres (To Turn This Rig Around) Willis Brothers 1 9 [C]
November 30 The Lumberjack Hal Willis 1 5 [A]
December 21 Don't Come Crying Ron McLeod 3 [C]
Notes
  • 2^ Song dropped from No. 1 and later returned to top spot.
  • A^ First RPM No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • C^ Only RPM No. 1 hit for that artist.

Other major hits[edit]

Singles released by American artists[edit]

US CAN Single Artist
19 Ask Marie Sonny James
8 5 Bad News Johnny Cash
3 2 The Ballad of Ira Hayes Johnny Cash
6 Baltimore Sonny James
4 Before I'm Over You Loretta Lynn
2 Burning Memories Ray Price
17 Chickashay David Houston
14 Chit Akins, Make Me a Star Don Bowman
3 3 Chug-a-Lug Roger Miller
7 Circumstances Billy Walker
3 3 The Cowboy in the Continental Suit Marty Robbins
2 5 Cross the Brazos at Waco Billy Walker
9 D.J. for a Day Jimmy C. Newman
13 4 Dern Ya Ruby Wright
4 3 Don't Be Angry Stonewall Jackson
14 Easy Come, Easy Go Bill Anderson
9 2 Finally Kitty Wells and Webb Pierce
5 Five Little Fingers Bill Anderson
5 500 Miles Away from Home Bobby Bare
15 Followed Closely by My Teardrops Hank Locklin
9 3 Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston George Hamilton IV
15 Girl from Spanish Town Marty Robbins
8 Go Cat Go Norma Jean
8 Gonna Get Along Without You Now Skeeter Davis
17 He Says the Same Things to Me Skeeter Davis
19 Helpless Joe Carson
10 Here Comes My Baby Dottie West
19 Howdy Neighbor Howdy Porter Wagoner
4 I Love to Dance with Annie Ernest Ashworth
11 I'll Go Down Swinging Porter Wagoner
14 I'm Hanging Up the Phone Carl Butler and Pearl
13 If the Back Door Could Talk Webb Pierce
13 Invisible Tears Ned Miller
12 Jealous Hearted Me Eddy Arnold
16 Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming In Johnny & Jonie Mosby
5 Keeping Up with the Joneses Faron Young and Margie Singleton
7 Last Day in the Mines Dave Dudley
11 Let's Go All the Way Norma Jean
14 Lonely Girl Carl Smith
5 Long Gone Lonesome Blues Hank Williams, Jr.
7 Looking for More in '64 Jim Nesbitt
7 Love Is No Excuse Jim Reeves and Dottie West
17 Love Looks Good on You David Houston
6 Mad Dave Dudley
8 Me Bill Anderson
2 Memory #1 Webb Pierce
4 Miller's Cave Bobby Bare
5 Molly Eddy Arnold
20 Mother-in-Law Jim Nesbitt
11 4 Mr. and Mrs. Used to Be Ernest Tubb and Loretta Lynn
11 My Friend on the Right Faron Young
15 My Tears Are Overdue George Jones
11 Old Records Margie Singleton
11 One If for Him, Two If for Me David Houston
8 One of These Days Marty Robbins
4 Password Kitty Wells
8 Peel Me a Nanner Roy Drusky
14 Petticoat Junction Flatt & Scruggs
13 Pick of the Week Roy Drusky
17 Pillow That Whispers Carl Smith
3 The Race Is On George Jones
11 2 Sam Hill Claude King
5 Second Fiddle (To an Old Guitar) Jean Shepard
19 Sing a Sad Song Merle Haggard
5 Sorrow On the Rocks Porter Wagoner
15 Take My Ring Off Your Finger Carl Smith
12 Then I'll Stop Loving You The Browns
7 This White Circle On My Finger Kitty Wells
13 Timber I'm Falling Ferlin Husky
9 Too Late to Try Again Carl Butler and Pearl
16 Triangle Carl Smith
12 Trouble in My Arms Johnny & Jonie Mosby
10 A Week in the Country Ernest Ashworth
2 Welcome to My World Jim Reeves
10 Where Does a Little Tear Come From George Jones
19 Widow Maker Jimmy Martin
3 Wine, Women and Song Loretta Lynn
12 You Are My Flower Flatt & Scruggs
10 You'll Drive Me Back (Into Her Arms Again) Faron Young
5 Your Heart Turned Left (And I Was On the Right) George Jones

Singles released by Canadian artists[edit]

US CAN Single Artist
4 Biggest Hurt of All Dianne Leigh
11 Breakfast with the Blues Hank Snow
5 Crazy Arms Lucille Starr
5 Deer Island Henchmen
8 My Good Life Cy Anders
9 Night on the Water Sandy Selsie

Top new album releases[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

  • June 9 - Alton Delmore, 55, one half of the old-time harmony duo Delmore Brothers.
  • July 31 — Jim Reeves, 39, velvet-voiced singer and leading force in the Nashville Sound; many of his hits came posthumously. (plane crash)

Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees[edit]

Major awards[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

  • Best Country and Western Vocal Performance, Female — "Here Comes My Baby," Dottie West
  • Best Country and Western Vocal Performance, Male — "Dang Me," Roger Miller
  • Best Country and Western Single — "Dang Me," Roger Miller
  • Best Country and Western Song — "Dang Me," Roger Miller (Performer: Roger Miller)
  • Best Country and Western AlbumDang Me/Chug-a-Lug, Roger Miller
  • Best New Country and Western Artist — Roger Miller

Further reading[edit]

  • Kingsbury, Paul, "The Grand Ole Opry: History of Country Music. 70 Years of the Songs, the Stars and the Stories," Villard Books, Random House; Opryland USA, 1995
  • Kingsbury, Paul, "Vinyl Hayride: Country Music Album Covers 1947-1989," Country Music Foundation, 2003 (ISBN 0-8118-3572-3)
  • Millard, Bob, "Country Music: 70 Years of America's Favorite Music," HarperCollins, New York, 1993 (ISBN 0-06-273244-7)
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs 1944-2005 - 6th Edition." 2005.

Other links[edit]

External links[edit]