When the Snow Is on the Roses

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"When the Snow Is on the Roses"
Single by Sonny James
from the album When the Snow Is on the Roses
B-side Love is a Rainbow
Released July 5, 1972
Format 7"
Recorded June 1, 1972
Genre Country
Length 2:42
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Ernst Bader, Larry Kusik and Eddie Snyder (lyrics), James Last (music)
Producer(s) George Richey
Sonny James singles chronology
"That's Why I Love You Like I Do"
"When the Snow Is on the Roses"
"White Silver Sands"

"When the Snow Is on the Roses" is a song that was an Adult Contemporary hit for Ed Ames in 1967, spending four weeks at #1 on the Easy Listening chart, but only reached #98 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] In 1972, a version recorded by Sonny James went to number one on the country charts.[2]

Song history[edit]

The song — originally recorded by Roy Drusky in the late 1960s as an album cut[3] — 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 magazine Hot Country Singles chart in mid-September 1972.[4]

Ernst Bader wrote the original lyrics to the song in German; Larry Kusik and Eddie Snyder then wrote the English translation. The music was by James Last.

Elvis Presley also sang this song live in Las Vegas on August 24, 1970 MS (Midnight Show). This performance is registered in the Live In Las Vegas BMG box set. It is an audience recording. Thanks to that, it is a rare and unique performance.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 3
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Preceded by
"More Than the Eye Can See" by Al Martino
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single (Ed Ames version)
November 25, 1967 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Cold" by John Gary
Preceded by
"If You Leave Me Tonight I'll Cry"
by Jerry Wallace
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

September 16, 1972
Succeeded by
"I Can't Stop Loving You"
by Conway Twitty
Preceded by
"I Can't Stop Loving You"
by Conway Twitty
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

September 30, 1972
Succeeded by
by Johnny Cash

References and sources[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 20. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 172. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link] Allmusic — "When the Snow is On the Roses"
  4. ^ [2] Allmusic — The Complete Columbia & Monument Hits by Sonny James

See also[edit]

  • Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)