Written by Tom Douglas
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
June 24, 1994
Collin Raye takes one of the decade’s best songs to No. 1.
The Road to No. 1
Collin Raye hadn’t enjoyed a No. 1 single since “In This Life” in 1992, but since then, he’d remained a consistent hitmaker. In This Life produced an additional three top ten singles: “I Want You Bad (and That Ain’t Good),” “Somebody Else’s Moon,” and “That Was a River.” He teamed up with new producers for his third album, extremes, after being dissatisfied with the overall quality of his first two albums. The Lee Roy Parnell-penned “That’s My Story” was the lead single, and it went top ten. He followed it with what is arguably the best single of his career.
The No. 1
“Little Rock” is an astonishing piece of songwriting.
It’s essentially one side of a phone conversation between a recovering alcoholic and his estranged wife, and it captures a storm of emotions, as he struggles with his guilt and shame, while also trying to convince her that he’s changed.
The second verse is particularly devastating:
I don’t know why I held it all inside
You must’ve thought I never even tried
You know your Daddy told me when I left
“Jesus would forgive, but a daddy don’t forget”
“Little Rock” was released in 1994, as understanding of alcoholism as a crippling disease was slowly increasing. This empathetic record did some of the heavy lifting. It refused to look away from the choices made and the damage done, yet still lifted up the humanity of the man who caused the wreckage.
Raye’s elevation into an A-list artist regularly nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year alongside the genre’s titans begins here.
The Road From No. 1
Raye didn’t have to wait as long for his next No. 1 single. We’ll cover the follow up to “Little Rock” later in 1994.
“Little Rock” gets an A.
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