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May 17

“Please Help Me, I’m Falling”: Hank Locklin’s Biggest Hit

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"Please Help Me, I'm Falling": Hank Locklin's Biggest Hit 1
Hank Locklin’s Record Cover (Photo Credits: Sun Record Company)

Song Background

Please Help Me, I’m Falling” was penned by Don Robertson and Hal Blair. Hank Locklin recorded it in February 1960. The song was Locklin’s most successful recording. In addition, it became his second no. 1 single on the country charts. It spent 14 weeks as no. 1 and 9 months on the country chart. Moreover, it crossed over to the Hot 100 reaching no. 8.

Please help me, I’m falling
In love with you
Close the door to temptation
Don’t let me walk through

Turn away from me, darling 
I’m begging you to
Please help me, I’m falling
In love with you

Story Behind the Song

In the early 1950’s, Hank Locklin had savored much success during the early part of his music career under the Four Star Label. To note, his hit, “Let Me Be The One” notched no. 1 in 1953. As a result, he was invited to be a part of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. Later, this led him to sign under a more lucrative contract with RCA Victor in 1956. Two years later, he wrote, “Send Me The Pillow You Dream On” which peaked at no. 5 and became a bona fide country classic.

By the 1960’s, Locklin’s recording career started to stagger. He had not appeared in charts in two years despite the facts that he was still quite famous with Opry fans. Luckily, RCA Victor still believed in him and kept him on the roster.

The Songwriters: Don Robertson & Hal Blair

"Please Help Me, I'm Falling": Hank Locklin's Biggest Hit 2
Don Robertson (Photo Credits: Alan Cackett)

On the other hand, songwriter Don Robertson had been composing a song that had a pure country feel. He was trying to create a piece focused on the idea of a man who was trying hard not to fall for a woman he shouldn’t love. For quite some time, Robertson struggled to finalize and finish the music. Feeling that he had something special but didn’t know what to do, he took the piece to other songwriters. Unfortunately, no one was interested. Consequently, Robertson just filed the unnamed song and started working on other concepts.

The next year, Robertson found himself working with Hal Blair. He suddenly pulled out his unfinished song about forbidden love. Interestingly, the lyrics could have been Blair’s life story. To note, Blair had actually fallen in love with someone he shouldn’t have.

With Blair’s insights added to Robertson’s, the writer’s had finally finished the tune. In the end, they named the new song, “Please Help Me I’m Falling.”

How the Song Made Its Way to Hank Locklin

"Please Help Me, I'm Falling": Hank Locklin's Biggest Hit 3
Hank Locklin (Photo Credits: Amazon.com)

Originally, “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” was offered to Jim Reeves, one of RCA’s hottest acts at that time. However, after listening to it for three weeks, he turned it down. At this point, the song finally made its way to Hank Locklin whose career was on the verge of dying. During that time, RCA was desperate in finding a hit for Locklin. Apparently, the piece was a great fit of subject and style. On January 5, 1960, Locklin first recorded “Please Help Me, I’m Falling

Two months after its recording, “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” penetrated the Billboard Country Singles. The song then immediately gained popularity as days go by; the sales demand kept on rising. Furthermore, “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” peaked at no. 1 in April and held its position for 14 long weeks.

To note, “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” is considered the 18th biggest hit in country music history for over 50 years.

Later in 1960, Skeeter Davis co-wrote “I Can’t Help You, I’m Falling Too” in response to this Locklin hit.

Watch Hank Locklin perform his no. 1 hit “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” below:

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