Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Paul Overstreet, “Daddy’s Come Around”

“Daddy’s Come Around”

Paul Overstreet

Written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz

Billboard

#1 (1 week)

February 2, 1991

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

January 18, 1991

Paul Overstreet’s final No. 1 single is yet another tale of suburban domestic bliss.

The Road to No. 1

After topping the charts with the fourth single from his Sowin’ Love album, “Seein’ My Father in Me,” he scored another top five hit with the fifth single, “The Richest Man On Earth.”   Overstreet then previewed his third studio album, Heroes, with “Daddy’s Come Around.”

The No. 1

Overstreet must have been listening to the radio while recording his next album, because there’s more pep to the proceedings here than was found on the hits from his previous album, even as the happy breadwinner theme of his records continues.

Here, we have Mama fed up with Daddy’s drinking and partying, so she meets him at the door and tells him a change is needed…and he changes.  Turns out he loves being home and doesn’t miss his friends and is even excited to be a Daddy again.   He’s even washed the dishes a couple of times!

It’s like a Kidz Bop rewrite of “Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind),” where alcoholism is a setup for a sitcom scene easily resolved, rather than being the fuel for unwanted sexual attention and potential domestic disturbance.

In a year that will see Reba McEntire’s “Fancy”, Vince Gill’s “Pocket Full of Gold”, and Ricky Van Shelton’s “Keep it Between the Lines” all reach heavy rotation, “Daddy’s Come Around” may still be the least plausible plotline on the radio dial in 1991.

The Road From No. 1

Paul Overstreet had two more top five hits from Heroes, the title track and “Ball and Chain,” which continued in the same thematic vein of his earlier hits.  After a fourth single struggled to reach the top thirty, Overstreet moved on to his next studio album,  Love is Strong, which failed to produce a major hit.

However, Overstreet continued to be successful as a songwriter in the nineties, particularly in the gospel field, while he made a killing financially from two hugely successful covers of “When You Say Nothing at All” – first by Alison Krauss & Union Station, then by Ronan Keating of Boyzone – eclipsing the already significant impact of Keith Whitley’s original recording.

“Daddy’s Come Around” gets a B-. 

 

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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7 Comments

  1. Overstreet’s wry humor makes this a B+
    He was never a great singer but remains an excellent songsmith

    i’m not sure that I agree about the covers of “When You Say Nothing at All” eclipsed the already significant impact of Keith Whitley’s original recording. While Alison brought something new to the song, the vocalist for Boyzone is pretty mediocre

  2. By the way, the hit Irish single for “When You Say Nothing At All” is credited to Ronan Keating, an erstwhile member of Boyzone. If Keating is the vocalist on the audio clip you provided, then I would have expected more of him

  3. More significant commercial impact. Overstreet’s royalties for the Krauss version eclipsed the Whitley version, and then went through the roof when Keating made the song an international smash.

    Diane Warren made a lot more money of LeAnn Rimes doing “How Do I Live” than she made off of Trisha Yearwood’s superior version. That’s how it goes sometimes.

  4. This is probably one of the most essential tunes from my early childhood. I still have it on a tape I recorded in early 1993 that I would listen to many times throughout the decade, and every time I hear it today, it instantly takes me back to those simpler carefree times (The Paul Overstreet written “A Long Line Of Love” sung by Michael Martin Murphey happens to be on the same tape, as well.) For me, the humor and charm that Paul brings to the song never gets old. I also specifically remember hearing it for the first time while my parents and I were in the drive thru at KFC, and them getting a chuckle out of the line “You just might get to be a daddy again” without really knowing what it meant myself at the time, lol.

    “Richest Man On Earth” is another one I was surprised never made it to number one given how heavy in rotation it still was for us throughout early 1991. It was being played so much that it actually ended up making it on to quite a few of my tapes at the time. That’s perfectly fine with me, as it’s such a lovely song, and another one of my all time favorites from Paul.

    I also really like all of the other singles from Heroes, including the lower charting “If I Could Bottle This Up,” which I remember hearing in late 1991/early 1992. I even remember “Me And My Baby,” the 1992 lead single from Love Is Strong (a great, underrated album, imo).

    Overall, Paul music (both as a recording artist and as a songwriter) just takes me to my “happy place,” and never fails to take me back to good old simpler times. :)

  5. Overstreet was another example of the great role players on the early 90’s country charts. This song provided such skilled depth, both lyrically and vocally.

    This Overstreet single certainly takes me back to a specific time as does “Seeing My Father in Me.”

    These are the chart gems that get forgotten amidst all the flash and bang of the burgeoning careers of Brooks, Black, and Jackson.

  6. I like this song, but I agree that it’s pretty simplistic as far as reality goes. But maybe it’s kind of accurate from a child’s point of view who wouldn’t see all of the behind the scenes work that brought Daddy around.

  7. I’m with Jamie, this is an essential song that has been played in the background of my life for 30 years! It’s a fine tune for what it is, just a fun love song for 2 ppl who have been together forever. He needs reminded of what he really wants in life and changes real fast bc of his strong love, a good message for long term couples.

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