Making Believe

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"Making Believe" is a country music song written by Jimmy Work. Kitty Wells recorded a chart-topping version in 1955. The song is on many lists of all-time greatest country music songs and has been covered by scores of artists over the past fifty years, including Thorleifs, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff, Wanda Jackson, Connie Francis, Ray Charles, Anita Carter, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Ernest Tubb, Social Distortion, Skeeter Davis, The Haden Triplets and Volbeat. The song is occasionally called "Makin' Believe".

Singer-songwriter Work released the song as a single in February 1955 on Dot Records, and it reached #5 on Billboard's country music jukebox charts.[1] A month later, singer Kitty Wells released the song as a single which hit #2 on the country charts[2] and remained there for 15 weeks, still a record for a song in the runner-up position on the country Billboard charts.[citation needed] The song was blocked to #1 by the 21-weeks long "In the Jailhouse Now" by Webb Pierce.

The song is a melancholy ballad about not getting over a former lover. The singer daydreams that they are still loved by the old flame even while fully knowing "you'll never be mine" again.

The song received new attention with three single releases in 1977-78, The Kendalls hitting #80 with the song, their first release on Ovation Records. A few months later, Emmylou Harris climbed to #7 with her version.[3] The following January, Merle Haggard received considerable airplay for his version, which was the B side of his single "Running Kind". Billy Joe Royal also released a cover version of the song.

Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty released a duet version of the song in 1988 and used it as the title track for their final album together. Although the song was not a radio hit for them, it was a popular number at their concerts and the album sold fairly well via television ads.

Punk Rock group, Social Distortion, released this song on the album Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell in 1992 and a few years later, they also included the song on the DVD Live in Orange County released in 2003.

Metal band Volbeat also released this song on the album Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood in 2008.

Chart performance[edit]

Jimmy Work[edit]

Chart (1955) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 5

Kitty Wells[edit]

Chart (1955) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 2

The Kendalls[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 80

Emmylou Harris[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 8
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 87

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 397. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 377. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 152. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"It's Late (And I Have to Go)"
by Carroll Baker
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

August 13, 1977
Succeeded by
"I Can't Love You Enough"
by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn