From the late 1940’s up to the mid’1950’s, Billboard held three songs that spent the longest weeks on its country chart’s 58-year-old history. If such was the basis for determining which song was most-loved during this period, then it’s certain all these three took the crown. But which of them was the first to set the record? Well, it’s no other than Eddy Arnold’s “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms).”
The First Song to Stay at No. 1 for 21 Weeks
In 1947, country music singer Eddy Arnold recorded what would become the first song to hold the longest run at No. 1 on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)” was probably Arnold’s most successful record. Although the singer had already produced two No. 1 songs previously, this third top country hit of his was a remarkable one. Apart from topping the country chart for 21 long weeks, the song was also Arnold’s first major crossover hit. Accordingly, the song entered Billboard Hot 100 chart’s Top 30 peaking at No. 22. Arnold co-wrote the song with Hall Horton and Tommy Dilbeck.
The success of “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)” was tied by Hank Snow’s “I’m Moving On” in 1950. Succeeding five years later was Webb Pierce with his “In the Jailhouse Now.” For 58 years in the chart’s history, no other song has ever matched the joint record that these three classic tunes held. Not until Florida Georgia Line released “Cruise” in 2013 which then surpassed the record and ended with a 24-week run at No. 1. The chart’s new rules that took effect in 2012 were the biggest contributory factor to this new trend in the country music scene.
The country crooner standard has since been recorded by other renowned country stars. Among them were Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, and Jerry Lee Lewis, to name a few.
Listen to Eddy Arnold’s “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)” below.
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