October 11

The Story Behind the Hit: “Don’t Fight The Feelings Of Love” By Charley Pride

“Don’t Fight The Feelings Of Love” by Charley Pride represents the first number one single for a then-struggling songwriter named John Schweers. He moved to Nashville on June 23, 1972, having already placed a song with Merle Haggard’s guitarist, Bobby Wayne. Unfortunately, by the time Schweers hit town, Wayne had already been dropped by Capitol Records.

Writing His First Hit

Being perseverant, John Schweers worked throughout the summer and ended up signing with Charley Pride’s Pi-Gem music Publishing Company. The manager of the company, Tom Collins repeatedly encouraged John to write uptempo songs. As a result of those encouragements, Schweers came up with “Don’t Fight The Feelings Of Love.”

During those times, “Don’t fight the feeling” was a saying that was going around and John built on it one evening. In the process of composing the song, he accompanied the lyrics with the phrase. Then, he came up with a basic melody on his guitar. He kept time with the rhythm by tapping his foot on the floor. Then his landlady downstairs came up and knocked at his door. She thought that he was nailing something on the wall. Then John told her,

“No, I’m writing a song.”

She was shocked and said,

“What!? You’re a songwriter!?”

Even though this event had happened, John got to stay in his apartment.

Charley Pride’s “Don’t Fight The Feelings Of Love” was not done yet at this point. Tom Collins had John Schweers do a couple of rewrites to improve the song. After that, the producers were satisfied and asked Schweers to play a demo of the song.

One of His Best Christmas Gifts He Received

On the Christmas season of ’72, John went home to Texas. He received a package, and it says, “Here’s your Christmas present” written on the package. Inside was a tape of “Don’t Fight The Feelings Of Love.” However, it wasn’t a recording of the demo he made, and it was someone else’s voice. Schweers thought,

“Why did they re-demo my tune? And, who’s that singing?”

He restarted the tape and realized that it was Charley Pride singing. He got super excited because he had dreamed of Charley Pride singing his song since he signed in with Pi-Gem.

The Success of the Hit

“Don’t Fight The Feelings Of Love” by Charley Pride was released by RCA as a single on April 17, 1973. This hit is Charley Pride’s twelfth No. 1 hit out of 29.  After six weeks of its release, it reached the top spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles Chart. That was also the beginning of John Schweers success as an artist and a writer.

Visit our website for more stories about Charley Pride and his hits. God Bless Your Heart!


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