Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: K.T. Oslin, “Come Next Monday”

“Come Next Monday”

K.T. Oslin

Written by Charlie Black, Rory Bourke, and K.T. Oslin

Billboard

#1 (2 weeks)

November 24 – December 1, 1990

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

November 16, 1990

The ultimate 80’s lady enjoys one last big hit.

The Road to No. 1

K.T. Oslin was the most spectacular success story of the late eighties.  Oslin had been toiling in obscurity for decades, working as a Broadway chorus girl , singing radio jingles, and appearing in commercials.  She discovered her songwriting talent at a later age, after receiving a piano.  Her interest in country music was piqued when New York City received a country radio station.

She soon made a demo that caught the attention of Music City.  After moving to Nashville, she sang on a Guy Clark album and earned a singles deal with Elektra Records, which resulted in a minor chart hit in 1982.   Discouraged, she moved back to New York, but while there, an industry champion continued to promote her songs, which soon appeared on albums from The Judds, Judy Rodman, and Dottie West.   She moved back to Nashville and eventually charmed RCA boss Joe Galante, who signed her to a deal in 1986.

Oslin then broke every rule of country music stardom, achieving her commercial breakthrough at the age of 46 with her classic composition, “80’s Ladies.”  Her album of the same name went platinum, as did its follow-up, This Woman.   From 1987 to 1989, she scored seven top ten hits, including four No. 1 singles – three solo efforts, and an uncredited duet with labelmates Alabama.  She won three Grammy awards, Female Vocalist honors from both the CMA and ACM, and became the first woman in history to win the CMA for Song of the Year.

However, her third set, Love in a Small Town, got an inauspicious start.  Lead single “Two Hearts,” which had originally appeared on 80’s Ladies, barely dented the charts.  To get the project back on track, Oslin reworked a ballad she’d written for Jody Rodman into a mid-tempo romp.

The No. 1

“Come Next Monday” was originally little more than listless album filler, but Oslin’s restructuring of it for Love in a Small Town brought the tongue-in-cheek humor of the lyric to the surface, as did her playful vocal.

It’s very much in the vein of her other big hits, with a uniquely female perspective that compares giving up on the man who isn’t up to snuff to going on a diet: “Just like sugar, honey, come next Monday I’m gonna give up on you.”

An error in her keyboard settings was a happy accident, giving the record a quirky sound that goes well with the snarky lyrics.   Her synthesizer arrangements were already sounding dated by 1990, so keeping the mistake on the record helped it to stand out on the radio.

The Road From No. 1

Oslin followed “Come Next Monday” with “Mary and Willie,” her final top forty hit.  She then took a lengthy hiatus, resurfacing in 1993 with a hits package and in 1995 with a covers album, neither of which received radio airplay or matched the sales of Love in a Small Town, which went gold.   Oslin kept a low profile after this, releasing her final album of new material, Live Close By, Visit Often, in 2001, and taking small acting roles in film and television.   An album reworking her older songs, Simply, appeared in 2015, and Oslin made one of her final public appearances in 2018 when she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Her health struggles required her to enter an assisted living facility, where she entertained the other patients regularly.  In 2020, she was diagnosed with COVID-19, and passed away shortly thereafter.  Tributes from the women who had followed in her footsteps – Pam Tillis, Matraca Berg, Terri Clark, and Chely Wright, among others – poured in.   Her impact on the charts was brief, but the way that she changed the landscape for what a woman could sing and write about set the stage for the nineties boom of intelligent, independent-minded female country artists.

“Come Next Monday” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Don Williams, “Back in My Younger Days” | Next: Alan Jackson, “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow”

4 Comments

  1. I loved the video for this song, and continued buying her recordings after radio lost interest in her. I would regard her as totally unique and while I don’t think she will ever make the Country Music Hall of Fame, I think the institution would be enriched by her presence

  2. I wonder if country music will ever have the room for an artist as strong and mature as Oslin again. Her era is special because it did allow songs like this from artists like her to,not only receive radio support, but go number one.

    The appeal of her music was so inextricably bound up with who she was as as person that I struggle to hear anyone but her performing her compositions.

    “Come Next Monday” is sassy, smart, and fun. It was a shame that her style didn’t fit with what would follow musically for country women despite the influence of here attitude and confidence being everywhere.

  3. I agree with most all of Peter’s comments regarding this song and K.T. Oslin. Even with the dated synthesizers, “Come Next Monday” is still a very cool and enjoyable song today. It’s pretty neat that even with many of the new traditionalists breaking through in a big way, a very unique contemporary leaning artist like her was able to still have a number one hit. Even “Willie And Mary” (another one of my favorites) was getting a lot of airplay for us in early 1991, despite its less successful chart performance.

    For me, this song actually brings back more memories from the late 90’s, as I had rediscovered and fell in love with it while listening one of my early 1991 tapes later in 1998. I loved how unique it sounded for the time it came out, and I always liked the fun and sassy attitude in her performance. Then in 1999, we heard it play on the independent station we were listening to at the time while my parents and I were on the way back from a trip to Pennsylvania. When it came on, my dad (who is a fan of K.T.) asked me if I still remembered who that was singing, since we hadn’t heard any of her songs on the radio for so long. Just to quickly point out how much variety this station had, K.T.’s song was followed by the then latest Michael Peterson single “Somethin’ Bout A Sunday,” which most other stations were not playing either.

    In 2000, I also rediscovered “Hold Me” on one of my tapes, which has also been one of my favorites from her since then. I really like the Live Close By, Visit Often album, as well, particularly the title track, which is so fun!

    BTW Kevin, I’m really loving the write ups for these number one singles, especially the details about the artists and songs leading up to their success. I always end up learning something from many of these. On a much more sad note, I just realized that all of the last four artists covered are no longer with us. :(

  4. I appreciate that. This last stretch has been difficult to write, particularly the Diffie and Oslin entries, because of the long string of departed singers. It makes the nostalgia of this feature feel especially bittersweet.

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