The song — originally recorded by Roy Drusky for his 1968 album  — was James' first single released after he had signed with Columbia Records in 1972. James had just wrapped up a successful stay at Capitol Records, where he had enjoyed a string of 16 consecutive No. 1 hits during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
"When the Snow ... ," a ballad, began another long string of hits by "The Southern Gentleman." The song became his 22nd No. 1 song on the Billboard magazineHot Country Singles chart in mid-September 1972.