“Come Next Monday”
Written by Charlie Black, Rory Bourke, and K.T. Oslin
#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+.