April 18

13th of His 29 No. 1 Hits, “Amazing Love” by Charley Pride

13th of His 29 No. 1 Hits, “Amazing Love” by Charley Pride 1

It Wasn’t the First Title…

“Amazing Love” by Charley Pride was actually first written in the fall of 1972. However, it went through almost a year’s worth of alterations before the final version saw the light of day. John Schweers had taken the song to publisher Tom Collins but during that time it wasn’t called “Amazing Love.” That phrase was merely the hook in the final verse.

Truth be told, Schweers doesn’t even remember the song’s original title and Collins also didn’t like it as it was. Collins suggested that John change the title to “Amazing Love” and go from there. However, Schweers started having some problems with the re-write. He wanted it to be positive in its message. But in the song, the narrator is leaving so he places a rose on his wife’s pillow for her to find. The trouble John was having was that it seemed as if the man was leaving for good.

The song, “Amazing Love” became Schweers’ project for an entire month. He re-wrote it a number of times, constructing more than twenty-five different verses before settling on the final two. Charley Pride recorded it on April 17, 1973, the same day RCA released “Don’t Fight The Feelings Of Love.”

The Problem…

Thereafter, there was one problem. The song came with a bluesy major-seventh chord that Schweers had incorporated into his song. the people from RCA were a little afraid of that because Charley Pride was noted as being a hard country singer, doing straight chords, and that’s what his associates wanted. They were having phenomenal success at that time with the straight country formula. RCA also didn’t want to upset the apple cart with a different-sounding chord which this song featured. This being the reason, RCA decided not to release “Amazing Love” as a single, so Schweers’ publisher sent the song over to Ray Price’s office for his consideration.

Then the Solution Came…

In the interim, Jack Clement, Charley Pride’s producer, came up with a way to fix the chord problem. While Pride was out of town, Clement stripped down the instrumental tracks, leaving just Pride’s vocal and the drums from the original recording. He commissioned Charles Cochran to develop a new arrangement to replace the old one, which changed the chord structure. This final version of “Amazing Love” was issued on September 18, 1973, and reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart by December 15th, marking Charley’s thirteenth of an eventual twenty-nine chart-toppers.


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