Discussion:
The Number Ones: Guy Mitchell’s “Heartaches By The Number”
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Bob Roman
2018-11-20 22:39:43 UTC
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A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100.

Guy Mitchell – “Heartaches By The Number”
HIT #1: December 14, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks

“Heartaches By The Number” is a jaunty song about despair, which is to say that it’s a country song. It’s a weird gift that the Nashville machine has: to put together a song about soul-ripping sadness and have it come out sounding like no big deal at all. “Heartaches By The Number” has whistling, an almost-ska rhythm, and a lyric about having your soul trampled over and over. And Guy Mitchell, the guy singing it, doesn’t sound the least bit bothered.

Mitchell had an unlikely route to country stardom. He was born in Detroit to Croatian-immigrant parents, and he served in the Navy during World War II. By the time he started making hits, he was past 30, which made him a rarity during an era when teenagers were mostly dominating the charts. Mitchell wasn’t long for country stardom, either; by 1961, he was starring in the NBC western Whispering Smith. So Mitchell had life experience. Maybe that’s why he’s able to sing about being destroyed over and over by the same lover who keeps leaving and returning, why he can make that sound like a pleasant afternoon’s work.

GRADE: 5/10
Bob Roman
2018-11-20 22:40:50 UTC
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No mention of Ray Price

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BR
Bill B
2018-11-20 23:13:26 UTC
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Post by Bob Roman
No mention of Ray Price
Nor of "Singing The Blues." I had both singles on one 45 in my jukebox for a while, but removed it for bigger favorites. "Country stardom"? I always considered him a Pop singer.
t***@iwvisp.com
2018-11-21 00:25:45 UTC
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Or the amazing writer Harlan Howard.

Ray
Mark Dintenfass
2018-11-21 01:00:44 UTC
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Post by t***@iwvisp.com
Or the amazing writer Harlan Howard.
Or the fact that Mitchell was 30 because he had been at it for nearly a
decade, scoring a bunch of major hits in the early 50s. Or that this
"country" singer was a Mitch Miller "find," and that they hardly sat
around on haystacks strumming guitars in the Miller studios.
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BobbyM
2018-11-21 03:47:03 UTC
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Post by Mark Dintenfass
Post by t***@iwvisp.com
Or the amazing writer Harlan Howard.
Or the fact that Mitchell was 30 because he had been at it for nearly a
decade, scoring a bunch of major hits in the early 50s. Or that this
"country" singer was a Mitch Miller "find," and that they hardly sat
around on haystacks strumming guitars in the Miller studios.
Categorizing Guy Mitchell as a C&W artist is similar to doing the same for Tom Jones, since he charted with "Green, Green Gas of Home" & "Detroit City".
Dean F.
2018-11-21 05:02:10 UTC
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Post by BobbyM
Tom Jones, since he charted with "Green, Green Gas of Home" & "Detroit
City".
In all fairness, Tom Jones did have a #1 country hit in 1977: "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow." Still, your point is well taken.

Good thing Breihan never heard "Rock-a-Billy," or he'd also claim that Mitchell was a rockabilly singer.
DianeE
2018-11-21 13:04:35 UTC
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Post by Bob Roman
No mention of Ray Price
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BR
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Okay, I'll mention him. I like his version better. Not waaaaaaay
better, though, just better.
Roger Ford
2018-11-24 17:07:04 UTC
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On Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:39:43 -0800 (PST), Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit =
#1 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Guy Mitchell =E2=80=93 =E2=80=9CHeartaches By The Number=E2=80=9D
HIT #1: December 14, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Here's how it did in the 1959 Singles Battle

R1 Paul Buskirk - Nite Life 4
Mitchell 22

2 Desires - Let It Please Be You 14
Mitchell 11

ROGER FORD
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