The Hag Hits for Other Artist
The story of “A Shoulder To Cry On” by Charley Pride starts, of course, with the artist behind it, Merle Haggard. The Hag scored 38 No. 1 singles as a singer. Not only that, he also had two additional chart-toppers when a couple of his songs reached No. 1 for other artists. In all, Merle Haggard wrote five songs that became hits six different times.
Those songs were: “Today I Started Loving You Again” that went No. 9 for Sammi Smith. In addition, Charlie McCoy released an instrumental version back in 1972. “I Wonder What She’ll Think About Me Leaving” by Conway Twitty that reached No. 4 spot in 1971. Hank Williams Jr. also had his share, “I’d Rather Be Gone” that climb the No. 4 spot. Then there was No Show George who made Merle Haggard’s “I Always Get Lucky With You” a No. 1 hit. Last but not the least, and with another No. 1 hit, Charley Pride with “A Shoulder To Cry On.”
Even though the song became a No. 1 hit, Charley Pride said it shouldn’t have been a single. Merle and Charley were doing a package show in Las Vegas where Haggard pitches the song to Pride right on stage. Pride told him he did like it and he committed to record the song. In return, Haggard promised to record some songs that Pi-Gem published (Charley Pride’s company). However, Merle wasn’t able to fulfill his end of the deal.
It was a Success
A lot of people liked “A Shoulder To Cry On” and some think that it is one of Charley Pride’s best records. The song reached to the peak of Billboard’s Hot Country Singles Chart on April 14, 1943, and marked Charley Pride’s 11th chart toppers.
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