“You Win Again”
Written by Hank Williams
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
July 4, 1980
#1 (1 week)
July 12, 1980
As noted in the entry for “Honky Tonk Blues,” There’s a Little Bit of Hank in Me was one of Charley Pride’s best received projects. A collection of Hank Williams covers, he demonstrated his skill as a vocalist by tackling the high lonesome melodies associated with Williams, bringing his own smooth style into the mix to create something new from something old.
“You Win Again” was a smart choice for a single, as it wasn’t as widely known as some other Hank Williams classic, having been a B-side for Williams. However, it was among his most covered songs, with versions surfacing by Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. Pride’s cover was the most successful by a country artist.
Hearing his reading, you can draw a direct line of influence to classic Pride heartbreakers like “Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger.” Pride leans into the pain of the lyric, giving a performance that follows the basic outline of Williams’ original recording. His vocal is beyond reproach, a singer at the top of his game tackling a legendary song and succeeding at making it his own.
It’s a shame that the production isn’t up to the same level as Pride’s performance. The string section and the backing vocals distract from Pride’s excellent performance. Without those two elements, the record would be perfect.
Charley Pride’s next two singles were from his 1981 album Roll On Mississippi. The leadoff single, “You Almost Slipped My Mind,” went top five, followed by the title track, which went top ten. Pride will return to the top in 1981 with a single from his Greatest Hits collection.
“You Win Again” gets a B+.
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