Written by Bob DiPiero and Tom Shapiro
#1 (4 weeks)
June 18 – July 9, 1994
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
June 17, 1994
Neal McCoy spends a month at the top with his biggest hit to date.
The Road to No. 1
It took McCoy a long time to get his first No. 1, but after “No Doubt About It,” he repeated the feat with his next single.
The No. 1
There were so many artists competing for top drawer material by this time. Acts who were less established had to settle for middling material, even when written by A-list songwriters.
So Kathy Mattea got “Walking Away a Winner” from the songwriting duo of Bob DiPiero and Tom Shapiro, and Neal McCoy got “Wink.”
And because it’s 1994, the inferior record spent four weeks at No. 1.
“Wink” is pleasant radio filler. McCoy’s captivating stage presence elevated it when he performed it live, but on record, it’s dull and flat.
Why did it spend four weeks at No. 1? Because we’re getting to the point of the nineties when country radio was peaking as a commercial force, and “Wink” was perfect for accomplishing the primary goal of the format at the time: don’t change the station.
When the format was growing, it needed captivating material to get people to tune in. Once it plateaued, it needed people not to tune out. So we’re going to get a lot of material like this moving forward: lightly twangy background music that you barely notice was playing at all until they go to commercial.
There are still some outstanding records on deck, so it’s not all doom and gloom. But records this boring are becoming commonplace.
The Road From No. 1
McCoy went top five with “The City Put the Country Back in Me,” and then released three singles from his next album, You Gotta Love That! “For a Change” and “They’re Playing Our Song” both went top five. The third single, “If I Was a Drinkin’ Man,” was far and away his finest work to date, and it peaked outside the top ten. He returned to the top with the title track from the album. We’ll cover it in 1996.
“Wink” gets a C.
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