Janie Fricke with Bob Montgomery

When Janie Fricke joined Bob Montgomery, it proved to be a masterstroke in her career. She reached the peak of  her career in both public and industry recognition. By the time Fricke’s “It Ain’t Ease Being Easy” was released, she walked off with a standing ovation and a trophy for the “Female Vocalist of the Year” in 1982.

Janie Fricke - phot form YouTube via screengrab

Janie Fricke – phot form YouTube via screengrab

Her trophy was only the beginning. Janie Fricke won the same CMA award the following year. Not only that, but she also kept the pace with being at the upper positions on the Billboard’s Country Chart. She followed her second No. 1 hit, “It Ain’t Easy Being Easy” with a powerful ballad that featured a duet with Bill Warred, “You Don’t Know Love.” This hit peaked at No. 4 in the spring of 1983. Then a major change happened with the release of “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen).”

Janie Fricke was looking for an uptempo and high energy song. During those time she was touring with Alabama, and she watched everything they did on stage. She was impressed with Alabama’s powerful performances. From that period, she hoped for a tune that might lead her into a direction like that.

“He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen)”

The vehicle that brought Janie Fricke to her first energetic song release was “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen).” However, this song was actually intended for Juice Newton. Bob Montgomery called Newton’s producer, Richard Landis, about the song. Bob had Richard’s ear, but for whatever reason, Juice Newton turned the song down.

During their negotiation, another producer, James Stroud, found “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen)” through the song’s songwriter, Larry Henley. During that time, Stroud was producing Tanya Tucker’s sister, LaCosta. Stroud wanted the song for her, so he called Landis to find out if Juice Newton was going to record it. Richard said she wouldn’t be. So, “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen)” was released to Stroud and he immediately cut it on LaCosta.

Unfortunately, nothing happened with the version that belonged to LaCosta. On the other hand, Janie Fricke’s rendition of the song performed very well. It debuted at No. 74 on Billboard Country Chart. A dozen weeks later, “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen)” sailed to the peak of the chart, marking Janie Fricke’s third of eight solo chart-toppers.