I Ain't Never

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"I Ain't Never"
Single by Mel Tillis
from the album I Ain't Never
B-side"Burden Of Love"
ReleasedJuly 1972
RecordedMay 26, 1972
LabelMGM 14418
Songwriter(s)Mel Tillis, Webb Pierce, Jerry Richards
Producer(s)Jim Vienneau
Mel Tillis singles chronology
"Would You Want the World to End"
"I Ain't Never"
"Neon Rose"

"I Ain't Never" is a song co-written by American country music artists Webb Pierce and Mel Tillis. Each co-writer recorded the song separately, with both Pierce's (1959), and years later Tillis's (1972), versions resulting in major hits.


According to Tillis, he wrote the song himself, and agreed to credit Pierce as a co-writer in exchange for a pair of boots Pierce was wearing when Tillis pitched him the song. In Tillis's words, "Them old boots cost me over eight hundred thousand dollars" in royalties.[1] It is rumored the song was originally written by Jerry Leen Richards, and Webb stole the song for himself.

Chart performance[edit]

Pierce's version was released in 1959, eventually spending nine weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot C&W Sides chart that year (held out by "The Three Bells (Les Trois Cloches)" by The Browns). The pop market accepted the Webb Pierce version, crossing it into the Billboard Top 40 and peaking at #24.[2]

Webb Pierce[edit]

Chart (1959) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 24

Mel Tillis[edit]

Tillis's 1972 recording of the song was his first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles (now Hot Country Songs) charts. The success of this version was limited to country music stations.

Chart (1972) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles[5] 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1

The Lowes[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles[5] 70

Additional recordings[edit]

Since its original release, the song has been recorded by several other artists, including:


  1. ^ Ralph Emery's Country Legends Volume 2 DVD
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 492.
  3. ^ "Webb Pierce Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  4. ^ "Webb Pierce Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  5. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  6. ^ "Charley Crockett". Pickathon.com. Retrieved February 14, 2019.