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December 7

Houston’s “Baby, Baby (I Know You’re a Lady)”

“Baby, Baby (I Know You’re a Lady) popularized and sang by country music singer David Houston was originally released in 1969. The track represented a first and a last. The last as it was David’s seventh and final chart-topper on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart. There it spent four weeks atop.

For an up-and-coming singer/songwriter, David Houston’s seventh and final trip to number 1 was also the first chart-topper. The song was also the first time for on-the-rise Nashville songwriter Norro Wilson. Among his compositions, this was the one that hit number one—a shared credit with co-writer Alex Harvey. During the next four decades, Wilson would become one of country music’s most fruitful songwriters and producers. He penned hits for singers Charley Pride, Charlie Rich, Jean Shepard, Tammy Wynette and others. Included in his production credits would be songs by Pride, Joe Stampley, Wynette, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Janie Fricke, Reba McEntire and others.

With the turn of the decade, Norro’s skill in writing greatly improved. Starting out as a guitar riff around a “D” chord, “Baby, Baby (I Know You’re a Lady) actually became a single that spent dominated the charts for 4 weeks. Its conception happened when Wilson dropped by Billy Sherrill’s office over at Columbia Records. It was just to stop in and talk. While chatting with Sherrill, he was simply strumming around with his guitar. Norro had this little guitar lick and Billy asked, “What is that you’re playing?”

Soon after, Alex Harvey paid Wilson a visit at the Al Gallico office and expressed an interest in the little “D” chord. Taking it an extra mile, Harvey thought of a preliminary title: “Baby, Baby”. Then, off they went writing the song.

After the completion of the tune having the title “Baby, Baby (I Know You’re a Lady), Wilson considered of using it for his own recording career. When he appeared at the Landmark Hotel in Las Vegas with Mel Tillis, Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass and Diana Trask, fate intruded. While Norro was busy doing what he does best, Billy Sherrill had David Houston cut the song. Soon enough, Al Gallico called Wilson and told him Houston’s record was breaking out all over the country. True enough, it became a huge success.

David Houston’s Top Songs

Early on, David Houston gained approval worldwide with his massive 1966 super-hit, “Almost Persuaded”. This continued with “Baby, Baby (I Know You’re a Lady) to carry him through several more years of Top Ten records for the Epic label. He had ten more through 1974—“A Woman Always Knows” and “Good Things” both landing at number 2. Additionally, “After Closing Time”, he had a duet with Barbara Mandrell in 1970. This marked her very first Top Ten appearance.

In the 1980s, Houston combated various health issues. Finally, on the 30th of November 1993, he died due to a brain aneurysm at the age of 54.


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