Teaming with producer Bob Montgomery proved a masterstroke in Janie Fricke’s career. It was the best for her as she reached a peak in both public popularity and industry recognition. When her fifth solo Top Ten hit was released, she walked off with a standing ovation and a trophy for “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the Country Music Association’s annual awards show on October 11, 1982.
The trophy was only the first for Janie. She won the same CMA award in October of the following year. In the meantime, she kept pace with the upper positions on the Billboard country chart. And, “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen)” represented a major change of pace.
Janie was looking for a “high energy” song. She was touring with Alabama, watching everything they did on stage. She was impressed with the group’s vigorously powerful performances. Fricke was hoping for a tune which might lead her in a direction like that.
Although the song was originally intended for another artist, “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen)” proved to be the perfect vehicle for Janie’s first truly up-tempo release. Songwriters Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley wrote “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen)” with Newton in mind.
Montgomery called Newton’s producer Richard Landis with the song. Both producers like the song. However, for whatever reason, Newton turned it down. Meanwhile, another producer, James Stroud, found out about the song by co-writer Henley. Stroud was producing LaCosta – Tanya Tucker’s sister – at the time, and he wanted the song badly for her. James called Landis to find out if Juice was going to record it. Richard said she would not be, so “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen)” was released to Stroud and he immediately cut it on LaCosta.
Nothing happened with LaCosta’s version, but Janie Fricke’s rendition performed quite well. It debuted at a modest No. 74 in the May 21, 1983, Billboard country chart. A dozen weeks later, on August 13th, “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen)” found a place at number one, marking Janie’s third of eight solo chart-toppers.
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