For over two decades in the industry, Ricky Van Shelton covered some of the biggest songs in country music. Most of the time, his versions are gaining more traction than the original. Of course, this includes “Life Turned Her That Way,” which Shelton released in 1987 as the fourth single off his debut album, Wild-Eyed Dream.
The song was originally released in 1965 by Little Jimmy Dickens and in 1967 by Mel Tillis. Other famous country acts covered “Life Turned Her That Way,” including Charley Pride, George Jones, and Ernest Tubb, among others. However, only Shelton’s version reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.
How The Song Led To Ricky Van Shelton After Many Decades
In 1984, Ricky Van Shelton moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to forge a career for himself in the music business and made the rounds in the nightclub circuit. Two years later, his demo caught the attention of a local newspaper columnist, who then helped arrange a showcase that landed Shelton a deal with a recording contract.
While looking over the material in preparation for his first album, a staff producer played Shelton a song called “Life Turned Her That Way.” He instantly warmed up to it without realizing the tune had been around for more than two decades, and its composer, Harlan Howard, was referred to as “the dean of country songwriters.”
So, “Life Turned Her That Way” undoubtedly made it to Shelton’s debut album. It then ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums as he showcased his smooth, soothing baritone that won him a wide audience. Other hits by Ricky Van Shelton in the album are “Crime of Passion” and “Don’t We All Have The Right.”
Tune in and play the video below to listen to “Life Turned Her That Way” by Ricky Van Shelton.
Ricky Van Shelton