February 5

A VanWarmer Original, “Just When I Needed You Most”

“Just When I Needed You Most” is an original by Randy VanWarmer. Released as a single in February 1979, the track spent two weeks atop the US Billboard adult contemporary chart in May. A month after, it reached its peak position of No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. All in all, “Just When I Needed You Most” accumulated an overall Top 40 tenure of 14 weeks. Because of this, it earned its RIAA Gold record status. In addition, the track reached No. 71 on the Billboard country music chart. In September 1979, it became part of the Top 10 on the UK Singles Chart, landing on the 8th spot.

VanWarmer’s inspiration to write “Just When I Needed You Most” came from his old car. At that time, the car he loved and used for years broke down on the way to work in Denver, Colorado. The other was due to a devastating breakup with a girlfriend. Six months after that, Randy wrote the song with Tony Wilson of the group Hot Chocolate two years before it became a hit.

Randy VanWarmer linked the success of his track to empathy for its heartbreak scenario. In an interview, he shared that this has happened to everyone and that this is a universal emotion. He admitted, too, that he always hoped the record was not reeling in self-pity. In addition, it had some redeeming value. Randy also attributed his single’s achievement to the autoharp instrumental break between the second and third verses. This is the part performed by John Sebastian.

In Dolly Parton’s 1996 album: Treasures, she made her own cover of “Just When I Needed You Most”. Just like the original, Parton featured John Sebastian on autoharp. Dolly’s version occupied the 62nd spot on the Billboard country music chart.

VanWarmer and Parton have set the standard for this song. On the other hand, Mcgraw made this one of his own.

When someone sits back and thinks about why one enjoys the diverse music he/she is listening to, it is usually because it makes him/her feel something. In one way or another, it is in line with what that person is feeling. Often times, he/she is aware of what he/she feels. Sometimes he/she is not, but think about it.

Once you are in a mood being portrayed well by the artist, the music is going to draw you. However, if an artist connects well with a song, they can start to drag you in that direction emotionally as well. At some point in time, it is like helping to bring you deeper into the song.


Dolly Parton, just when i needed you most, Randy Vanwarmer, tim mcgraw

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