Every #1 Single of the Nineties: Wade Hayes, “I’m Still Dancin’ With You”

“I’m Still Dancin’ With You”

Wade Hayes

Written by Wade Hayes and Chick Rains

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

June 2, 1995

Wade’s second No. 1 single is also his final one to date.

The Road to No. 1

After topping both charts with “Old Enough to Know Better,” the title track to his gold-selling debut album, Wade Hayes took one more trip to the top with his second single release.

The No. 1

Here’s what I should be writing here:

“I’m Still Dancin’ With You” is an effective ballad that demonstrates the raw, developing talent of one of the genre’s finest traditional vocalists.  You can hear all of his early potential here that he ultimately delivered on, much like listening to the early hits of Alan Jackson and George Strait.

As Carolyn Hax writes often, no word in the English language causes more misery than the word “should.”

Maddeningly, this promising record is the last of Wade’s No. 1 hits, despite his records growing stronger over time.  “I’m Still Dancin’ With You” is exactly what a heartsick, heartbroken record should sound like from a new artist his age, and it’s one of the better chart-toppers of 1995.

What’s most frustrating is that many of the new traditionalists who opened the door for him would continue to have massive radio airplay with weaker material than Hayes was producing.  There just wasn’t enough room on the playlists and far too many of the new acts from this part of the nineties were tossed aside before their time.

The Road From No. 1

His debut album produced the top ten hit “Don’t Stop” and the top five hit “What I Meant to Say.”  Hayes then made it to No. 2 on both charts with “On a Good Night,” which was the only hit from his gold-selling sophomore album of the same name.  His third album, When the Wrong One Loves You Right, produced one of the best singles of 1997: “The Day That She Left Tulsa (In a Chevy.)”  It went top five.  From the same album, “How Do You Sleep at Night” was his final top twenty hit to date.

Hayes recorded an album for the Monument imprint, then an unreleased album as part of the duo McHayes.  After a stint in Randy Owen’s backing band, Hayes began releasing independent material, including the devastating single “Is it Already Time?” which was written in the shadow of his cancer diagnosis. He’s thankfully been in remission since 2012, and he continues to record and tour.

“I’m Still Dancin’ With You” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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7 Comments

  1. Always loved this one, and it’s one of my favorite singles off Wade’s debut album. This one was actually my introduction to Wade one day while flipping through the TV downstairs and I saw this video playing on GAC (which at the time was a new channel for us). I remember really liking the song and his voice immediately. I do also remember hearing it on the radio back then, but unfortunately, it’s one that didn’t have much of a shelf life as a recurrent on any of our stations after that, and I didn’t get to hear and enjoy it again until picking up his debut album in early 2001. Since then, it’s always been one of my top favorites of his.

    It’s just another great neo-traditional heartbreak ballad, overall. Hayes’ performance nails the heartache of still not being able to let go of a past love, and the song is a perfect fit for his unique baritone. It is also solidly produced by Don Cook, and I especially love Bruce Bouton’s steel on this. I also love the piano and guitar intro, which immediately takes me back to 1995 in a good way. :)

    And speaking of that, this is another video that gets just about everything right (It’s not exactly a honky tonk that they’re in, which is what I always pictured, but it’s close enough). I especially love the scenes with Wade dancing with the two different women, and even when revisiting this song in 2001, that’s what I immediately remembered about the video. I love how during the chorus, one minute you see him dancing with the redhead he just met, and then it slowly turns to the blonde from another time who he cannot forget, which is quite effective. I also love the big white cowboy hat he is sporting here! If there’s one other thing I miss about the 90’s, it’s the nice clean looking hats everyone wore. More pleasing to the eye compared to the dirty, beat up, cheap looking ones that Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, and others have worn in more recent years.

    Dang, it’s such a shame that this is the last Wade Hayes entry. As you said, he deserved far better, especially with that voice. I could’ve sworn that “On A Good Night” would’ve also been a number one, at least (that was all over the radio in the Summer of ’96). My most favorite single he released in the mid 90’s though is “What I Meant To Say,” which brings back wonderful memories for me from early 1996, and I really wish that one had reached the top, especially. I also love “The Day That She Left Tulsa” and “How Do You Sleep At Night” which both bring back great middle school memories of my 6th grade and 7th grade years respectively. I’m with you on “..Tulsa” being one of his best, overall. A song from one of his latter day records, 2009’s A Place To Turn Around, that I really love is “I Wouldn’t Know.”

    I also agree that it’s a shame that most of the neo-traditionalists that started in the mid 90’s struggled to stay relevant on the radio by the late 90’s. Daryle Singletary, Rick Trevino, and David Ball also come to mind (though Ball did enjoy a brief comeback in late 2001). Deryl Dodd is another great traditional country artist debuting in the mid 90’s that deserved more success, imo (always loved his version of Tom T. Hall’s “That’s How I Got To Memphis”).

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  2. Love the Dancing song.
    some other WH favorites:
    up North, down South, Back East, Out West
    Steady as She Goes
    Day That She Left Tulsa
    Ask That Girl to Dance

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  3. I have two of Wade’s independent albums. They are both very good.

    I think Wade’s career may have accidentally derailed when Columbia released “Wichita Lineman” as a single. Radio reaction was so negative that Columbia pulled the single, which had been slated to be on the WHEN THE WRONG ONE LOVES YOU RIGHT album. The single that replaced it did okay but there must have been some residual effects from the Wichita Lineman fiasco as Wade basically disappeared from country radio after that.

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  4. His voice slays me. It is fabulously flexible, capable of communicating both strength and vulnerability.

    It is heartening to read so much admiration and respect for the staying power of his music.

    This song still shines brightly this many years later. I think it is A material as well.

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  5. Jamie, Deryl Dodd was underappreciated. I remember a number of critics celebrating how he had the “it” factor to become country’s next big star. It just never happened. He never got any real traction at radio.

    I always loved the song he co-wrote with Philip Douglas and Don Pfrimmer, “I Thought I’d Heard It All” from his eponymous 1998 album. Ricky Van Shelton recorded a killer version of it on his “Love and Honour” album four years earlier in 1994.

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