Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Alan Jackson, “She’s Got the Rhythm (and I Got the Blues)”

“She’s Got the Rhythm (and I Got the Blues)”

Alan Jackson

Written by Alan Jackson and Randy Travis

Billboard

#1 (1 week)

December 19, 1992

Radio & Records

#1 (3 weeks)

December 18, 1992 – January 1, 1993

Another winner from Alan Jackson.

The Road to No. 1

As Alan Jackson got ready to launch his third Arista album, he was coming off of two consecutive studio albums that produced four No. 1 hits each.  This trend would continue for his next two studio albums.  Here, we have the lead single from A Lot About Livin’ (and a Little ‘Bout Love), which is his highest-selling studio album ever.

The No. 1

Alan Jackson and Randy Travis were as hot as a songwriting pair could get in 1992, but until this single, it was Travis who was the beneficiary of all of the chart action.  But I dare say they saved the best for Alan Jackson, with “She’s Got the Rhythm (and I Got the Blues)” being the perfect vehicle for Jackson’s pure country delivery and wry sense of humor.

The cleverness is already there in the title, but can we take a moment to appreciate this second verse?

Well that music’s gettin’ louder
As my heart keeps beatin’ faster
As she spells out regret in perfect time

Well I thought I wanted freedom
But that ball and chain, I need ’em
‘Cause when you choose, sometimes you lose the prize

Add in that “Yee-haw” ad-lib at the end of the first chorus, and a final hillbilly wail to close out the record, and you’ve got one of Jackson’s very best singles of the nineties.   Is is too early to give him the MVP title for the entire series?

The Road From No. 1

The calendar page turned to 1993 for Radio & Records during Alan’s run at the top, and he’ll have two more excellent No. 1 hits from this set before the new year is through.

“She’s Got the Rhythm (and I Got the Blues)” gets an A. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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3 Comments

  1. This has always been one of my all time favorites from AJ, and it’s one of my very favorites from the early 90’s chapter of his career (Though in all honesty, I love nearly everything he released in this period). It’s also probably one of the most essential AJ songs from my childhood. :) I love everything about this song, from the swinging arrangement, AJ’s playful delivery, some excellent fiddle and steel playing as usual, and those high notes he hits in the finale. I also love that funny “Yeehaw” he does after the first chorus and the cool sound the steel guitar makes around the 1:12 mark of the video. Simply put, this is an all time classic, and it’s still one of his coolest singles ever, imo! I also miss being able to hear stuff like this on mainstream country radio so much!

    This is also the AJ song that immediately comes to mind when I think back on the earliest times we spent in our current house back in late ’92 and early ’93. Like many other songs around that time frame, it brings back so many wonderful memories! It made it on to a few of the tapes I recorded off the radio in early ’93, and it actually kicks off one of my all time favorite tapes from my childhood. Following “She’s Got The Rhythm” on that side of the tape is “Chains” by Patty Loveless, “All These Years” by Sawyer Brown, “Put Yourself In My Place” by Pam Tillis, “If I Know Me” by George Strait, “Walkaway Joe” by Trisha Yearwood, “A Long Line of Love” by Michael Martin Murphey, “Two Sparrows In A Hurricane” by Tanya Tucker, “Daddy’s Come Around” by Paul Overstreet, “When She Cries” by Restless Heart, “I’ve Been Loved By The Best” by Don Williams, “Eighteen Wheels And a Dozen Roses” by Kathy Mattea, “Life’s A Dance” by John Michael Montgomery, “Let Go Of The Stone” by John Anderson, and “I Should Be With You” by Steve Wariner. It’s one of the old 80’s TDK SA 90 minute tapes that my parents had before I was even born, which makes it all the more amazing that it’s survived all these years, and still plays surprisingly well today. It even managed to survive nearly getting chewed by the tape deck in my step dad’s Blazer back in ’94 after it switched sides after ending on the Steve Wariner song. That tape has pretty much been one of the main soundtracks throughout my childhood, and I’ve listened to it on my Walkman on many a trip with my parents while riding in the back seat. I even took it with me all the way across the country one time in ’94 when we went to California and up to Oregon to visit the place where my parents used to live and where I was born. :) That tape, this song, and all the other songs on it will always have a special place in my heart, and I really hope it will last another 35 plus years! (That is if there will actually still be cassette players around by then, ha).

    I’ve always really enjoyed Alan’s performance of this song on the 1992 CMA’s, as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4Ow0jVkxGE Also love his outfit here and all those cool fringe coats that many artists used to wear back then!

  2. Funny enough, this was one of my least favorite Jackson songs played on the radio when I was a kid, because I thought it was boring. So, I’m not quite sure when I started to like it and now love it.

  3. So many Alan Jackson singles were fun without slipping into silliness or being out right novelty songs. Kevin is correct in celebrating the cleverness of this song.

    I don’t know if an artist has ever filled this hole in country music since radio dropped Jackson. Toby Keith tried but came up short. Blake Shelton would like to think he has, but I am not sure that is the case either.

    Jackson at his best is brilliant, but he is also often just so utterly completely competent and comfortable as he is in this stand out song.

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