“Love of My Life”
Written by Dan Hill and Keith Stegall
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
January 23, 1998
Sammy Kershaw earns his final No. 1 single to date.
The Road to No. 1
After going to No. 1 with “National Working Woman’s Holiday” in 1994, Sammy Kershaw scored three more hits from Feelin’ Good Train: the top five “Third Rate Romance,” the top thirty “Southbound,” and the top twenty “If You’re Gonna Walk, I’m Gonna Crawl.” His hits collection followed, but its only single “Your Tattoo” missed the top forty. He bounced back with his fourth major label album, Politics, Religion, and Her, which featured four hits: the top five “Meant to Be,” the top ten “Vidalia,” the top thirty title track, and the top thirty “Fit to Be Tied Down.”
Kershaw would return to platinum sales for the final time with his 1997 set, Labor of Love, powered by the No. 1 hit being featured today.
The No. 1
Songwriter Dan Hill was no stranger to tender ballads, scoring pop hits with “Sometimes When We Touch” and “Can’t We Try,” as well as a series of AC hits through the early nineties.
His lyricism was a great match for Sammy Kershaw, whose deep and expressive vocals keep “Love of My Life” from crossing that notorious line between sentimental and sappy.
He gives such a rich and layered performance here, elevating an already good song to a much higher level. This one’s a slow burner that reveals more with each successive listen. It’s a hell of a high for him to go out on.
The Road From No. 1
Labor of Love produced an additional handful of lower-charting hits: the top thirty “Matches” and the top forty entries “Honky Tonk America” and “One Day Left to Live.” Kershaw’s next release launched with a superstar duet with eventual wife Lorrie Morgan: “Maybe Not Tonight” became his last top twenty hit to date. The album of the same name also included the top forty hits “When You Love Someone” and “Me and Maxine,” his final hits of the nineties.
He’d visit the top forty two more times in the following decade: with the Lorrie Morgan duet “He Drinks Tequila” and the 2003 independent release, “I Want My Money Back.” Kershaw hasn’t had a chart entry since 2006, but he has continued to tour and record on his own and with his nineties contemporaries.
“Love of My Life” gets an A.
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