Freddie Hart and his signature tune “Easy Loving” came in at #1 for a single week on September 11, 1971. He used to say that there are number one songs, and there are “trunk-of-the-tree” songs – songs that other songs take from. Others are branches, even though they reach #1 on the charts. He cited several examples as “trunk-of-the-tree” songs: classics such as Don Gibson’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” Eddie Miller’s “Release Me” and Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John,” along with his very own “Easy Loving.” Freddie’s 1971 blockbuster hit was also a bit of a fluke.
It was 1979 when a miracle happened for Hart when a deejay played a cut from his album named “Easy Loving.” You see, he has been recording for eighteen years, but he didn’t get his break until this time. Capitol records even dropped him after a disappointing failure of a prior album.
“Easy Loving” virtually exploded all over the country like a massive tidal wave. Capitol rush-released it as a single, and it reached #1 even before the label could re- Hart. Here was an artist who had the nation’s top song and he didn’t have a recording contract at the time! Freddie was re-signed in short order, however, and spent many more profitable years with Capitol Records.
Originally, Hart wrote “Easy Loving” under the working title “Easy Loving Teenage Hearts,” although it was eventually shortened and the age references were dropped. Freddie then targeted his goal toward only writing something that every man would like to say, and that every woman would like to hear. It came out fresh and unique.
In fact, “Easy Loving” was the first #1 country song to use the descriptive term “sexy” in its lyrics. Hart seriously considered removing the line “so sexy looking” because he thought it wouldn’t clear the censors, but he ended up leaving the line in.
“Easy Loving” reached the #1 plateau on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart on September 11, 1971, where it stayed for three weeks. It instantly built Freddie Hart’s momentum enough for him to notch twelve consecutive Top Ten hits, including five more number ones in a row. One of those, the immediate follow-up to “Easy Loving” called “My Hang-Up Is You” rested at #1 for six weeks, making it one of the three biggest country hits of the 1970s. The other two were Waylon Jennings’ “Luckenbach, Texas” and C. W. McCall’s “Convoy.” A glitch in the eligibility criteria allowed “Easy Loving” to win the “Song of the Year” award from the Country Music Association two years in a row, in 1971 and again in 1972.
What a song! It really is “Easy Loving” someone who makes you feel so special and loved as well. As the song says, everyday’s things givin’, to count on my blessings. I would know where to start, Life with you is like livin’ In a beautiful dream.
easy loving, freddie hart
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