A Jack to a King

During the reign of Ricky Van Shelton almost thirty years ago, he was a consistent hit-maker. Record buyers during those times were often confused about finding his name. Record stores almost have his records in stock and more often than not, they misfiled his records under “V” section for “Van Shelton.” His last name is “Shelton” and “Van” is his middle name. He started using it when he lived in Grit, Virginia to avoid confusion with another Ricky Shelton on the same rural route who was receiving his mails. The mail delivery confusion was resolved, however, on the long run, reporters, disc jockeys and record retailer have mistakenly assumed that his last name was “Van Shelton.”

Even though he had encountered semantic confusion, he set himself apart stylistically as the “Remake King.” His first four No. 1 singles had been recorded before. Moreover, he earned his fifth No. 1 with Ned Miller’s “From A Jack To A King”

The 1963 No. 2 Hit

Ricky Van Shelton noticed Ned Miller’s 1963 song right after he became interested in country music in the mid-‘60s. Though a huge hit, Miller’s record of “From A Jack To A King” only peaked at No. 2.

During the time when Ricky Van Shelton was looking for a song for his second album, “Loving Proof,” his wife, Betty mentioned, “From A Jack To A King.” She remembered that Ricky performed the song many times on his early days when he was getting himself established and she knew that it was his favorite song. Steve Buckingham, his producer, was familiar with “From A Jack To A King” gave him the permission to record the song. Ricky Van Shelton’s remake of “From A Jack To A King” debuted on Billboard’s Country Singles Chart on January 7, 1989, at No. 42 then landed on the No. 1 spot on March 18th.

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