December 12

“I’ll Leave This World Loving You” by Shelton

“I’ll Leave This World Loving You”, a country music song, is written by Wayne Kemp and Mack Vickery. In 1980, Kemp released it under Mercury Records label. Previously, he recorded the song in 1974 for MCA Records and used it as the B-side to his 1974 single “Harlan County”.

On his debut album Wild-Eyed Dream, Ricky Van Shelton was an instant success. Because of this, fans named Shelton “remake king”. From 1986 to 1988 among the singles released from the album were “Wild-Eyed Dream” and “Crime of Passion”. The tracks charted at number 24 and 7, respectively. The last three singles: “Somebody Lied”, “Life Turned Her That Way”, and “Don’t We All Have The Right” all got the crown.

His success continued in the second album Loving Proof. The Singles, “I’ll Leave This World Loving You”, From a Jack to a King”, and Living Proof” claimed the top spot on the charts. “Hole In My Pocket” was at number 4. On December 20, 1989, RIAA certified the album platinum. Most of the songs were remade, too.

Ricky Van Shelton made his own cover of “I’ll Leave This World Loving You”. Released in August 1988, it was the lead-off single from his album Loving Proof. It was the fourth consecutive chart-topper of Shelton’s career. In addition, it was the first Shelton hit that occupied the top for multiple weeks.

Secret to Success

Ricky explained his secret on having to come up with good remakes. He shared, “If you take a waltz and re-work it to 4/4 (if it’ll work in 4/4), then you essentially have a brand new song. You phrase it differently and enunciate it differently, and for a country song, that format usually comes off sounding better”. Through this particular idea, he achieved the desired results for his cut of “I’ll Leave This World Loving You”.

Dated November 19, 1988, the single leaped to number 1 on Billboard’s country chart. Notably, this was Ricky’s fourth of ten rides to the summit.


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