“Not On Your Love“
Written by Tony Martin, Troy Martin, and Reese Wilson
#1 (1 week)
September 2, 1995
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
August 18, 1995
A young traditionalist charts his only No. 1 hit.
The Road to No. 1
Born in Oklahoma and raised in Arkansas, Jeff Carson played the harmonica and guitar during his childhood, and joined a band in high school. As a band member and a solo artist, he found success through talent shows, and was soon playing the local scene in Branson, Missouri. After moving to Nashville, he performed regularly at Opryland and recorded demos, eventually earning a contract with Curb Records. His first single, “Yeah Buddy,” barely charted. His second single went all the way to the top.
The No. 1
There were a lot of generic love ballads during the mid-nineties by interchangeable hat acts, designed more to keep people from changing the radio station than to truly engage them with what was being played..
“Not On Your Love” wasn’t one of them.
It’s a mature and thoughtful ballad that promises unconditional love against the backdrop of marital conflict, emphasizing the importance of open communication, resilience, and forgiveness in making a relationship work for the long haul.
Jeff Carson was on the wrong label, and he never was enough of a priority for Curb to get the long-term support that his talent deserved.
“Not On Your Love,” in retrospect, feels like a promise that wasn’t realized. If only his label had been committed to Jeff Carson as he was to his partner in his only No. 1 hit.
The Road From No. 1
His self-titled debut album produced two more hits: the top five “The Car” and the top ten “Holdin’ On to Something.” His second set, Butterfly Kisses, was completely ignored by country radio. But he scored one more hit in 2001 with the title track from his third and final studio album, Real Life. Carson retired from the music industry in 2009, and joined the police force. Carson passed away from a heart attack in 2022, a few months after his 58th birthday.
“Not On Your Love” gets a B+.
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