After bursting onto the scene in the late 1980s with an incredible string of simple, straightforward hits, Ricky Van Shelton’s “From a Jack to a King” further cemented his place in country music history.
The song was released in 1989 from his second album, Loving Proof, which spawned three No. 1 hits for Shelton – with “From a Jack to a King” becoming his fifth consecutive No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs charts.
While he made the song like it was his own, it was actually a remake of the original by Ned Miller.
Miller’s version was originally released in 1957 – however, it did not do well. Five years later, Miller persuaded his label to re-release the song, and for some reason, the country ballad about a man’s happiness at finding the right woman caught on the second time.
It became a crossover hit, reaching No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs charts while No. 6 on Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Songs chart. Not only that, but it ranked sixth among the most played singles in 1963 in the United Kingdom.
Ricky Van Shelton recorded “From a Jack to a King” following the suggestion of his wife, Bettye Witt. In the middle of their search for song materials to include on his sophomore album with Columbia Records, Bettye remembered how Shelton performed the song on most of his early local shows while still trying to establish himself. She knew it was Shelton’s favorite song.
And the rest was history! It indeed became a big part of Ricky Van Shelton songs repertoire.
You can listen to “From a Jack to a King” by Ricky Van Shelton in the video below.
Ricky Van Shelton