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October 18

The Story Behind: “From A Jack To A King”

In December 1988, country musician Ricky Van Shelton released his own version of “From a Jack to a King”. This became the remake artist’s fifth consecutive number one hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts.

While Shelton had a hard time establishing himself, he was able to set himself apart in the game. He was likened to something similar to a ‘Remake King’. All his first four number one singles were recorded before, and yet earned another chart-topper—his fifth—with Ned Miller’s “From a Jack to a King” cover.

“From a Jack to a King” is a country music song. Originally, it was a crossover hit for Ned Miller, who also wrote “Dark Moon”, “A Falling Star”, and many other hits. It has been covered widely by country music artists.

Live Performance

Ricky Van Shelton noticed Ned Miller’s original 1963 recording immediately after his interest in country music in the mid-1960s. The song became a big part of Ricky’s early collection. Even though it was a huge hit, Ned’s record remained at the second spot for four weeks.

As he was searching for a track for his second album “Loving Proof”, wife Bettye Shelton mentioned, “From a Jack to a King”. She lovingly remembered Ricky performing it on his early local shows before getting recognized. Shelton’s producer Steve Buckingham was familiar with “From a Jack to a King” and approved it without a doubt. Shelton’s rendition of “From a Jack to a King” debuted at #42 on the Billboard’s Country Singles chart on January 7, 1989. By March 18th, it jumped into the #1 position, surpassing Miller’s #2 peak in ’63.

Believe it or not, both Ned and Ricky worked at the very same jobs prior to their entry in the music industry.

Truly “From a Jack to a King”, he reigned gracefully.

The Story Behind: “From A Jack To A King” 1
Likened to a “Remake King”

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