This week in country music: 1964 Johnny Cash

This week in country music: 1964 Johnny Cash

(KFVS) - Time to take a stroll down our musical memory lane.

This morning we check the country charts from this week in 1964.

While pop radio was being dominated by the Beatles, some classic hit makers were at the top of Billboard Magazine's Hot Country Singles Chart.  In fact all five artists in the top five were future members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

At number five was Ray Price with Burning Memories. It solidified a change in direction for Price.  Burning Memories and his  previous single Make the World Go Away were departures from his honky tonk style of the 1950's.

Buck Owens was at number four with a double sided hit.  The A-side was My Heart Skips a Beat.  It would go on to spend seven non-consecutive weeks at number one.  It's run at the top of the charts was interrupted by the B-side Together Again.

A country classic was in the number three spot.  Saginaw, Michigan was the sixth and final number one single by Lefty Frizzell. After Saginaw, Michigan and its followup She's Gone, Gone, Gone, Frizzell's career went into a downhill spiral due to alcoholism.  He died from a stroke in 1975 at age 47.

At number two was Welcome to My World by Jim Reeves.  It was the last major hit during his lifetime.  He died in a plane crash in July.  At the time of his death, he had lots of songs he had recorded and saved.  Those songs resulted in a long list of posthumous hits through the 1960's and 1970's.

And in the top spot for this week in '64 was The Man in Black, Johnny Cash.  Understand Your Man spent six weeks at number one. Johnny Cash wrote the song and borrowed heavily from Bob Dylan's Don't Think Twice, It's All Right.   Understand Your Man was the final song Cash ever performed in front of a live audience.  The performance came in 2003 in Hilton, Virginia.  Before singing Understand Your Man, Cash told the audience that he had not performed it live in 25 years.

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