Every No. 1 Country Single of the Eighties: Razzy Bailey, “Loving Up a Storm”

“Loving Up a Storm”

Razzy Bailey

Written by Danny Morrison and Johnny Slate


#1 (1 week)

October 11, 1980

Razzy Bailey took the long road to success as a recording artist, but he finally found success in the early eighties.

Not that his career was anything to be dismissed up until that point.  Born and raised in Alabama, Bailey had been pursuing a singing career since the sixties, but it was his skill as a songwriter that first put him on the map.  After his own version of his song “9,999,999 Tears” failed to chart, it was covered by Dickey Lee, who took it to the top five of the pop chart in 1976.   Though he’d released an album on MGM earlier in the decade, it was his songwriting hit that got him a deal with RCA’s Nashville division.

His 1978 album If Love Had a Face broke him in the country market, with all four singles released from it going top ten.  His next album, Razzy, was launched with the top five hit “I Can’t Get Enough of You,” followed by the top fifteen “Too Old to Play Cowboy.” The third single from this 1980 set became Bailey’s first No. 1 hit.

Bailey’s vocal is slightly breathless as he runs down the consequences of “loving up a storm” with his best friend’s partner.  The production is pretty stormy in its own right, with a jarringly loud string section and overpowering backing vocalists nearly drowning out his performance.

It makes total sense that Bailey would peak during this time period.  His sound fits in perfectly with prevailing trends, making him a solid B-list contributor to early eighties country radio.  This is the first of four consecutive No. 1 hits, and the next three will be double-sided to boot.

“Loving Up a Storm” gets a B.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. Interesting. I have heard of Razzy Bailey but have never actually heard any of his songs over the years. I would’ve never guessed that he had even one No. 1 hit, let alone four.

  2. I am only familiar with his number one hits. I have no sense of him as a personality within the country community of his peers or what his larger legacy is. For what it’s worth, I have never felt compelled to explore his music more deeply or explore any of his albums. His sound did fit well with country radio at the time.

    I think of this song when I think of Razzy Bailey and I like it well enough.

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