Every No. 1 Country Single of the Eighties: Johnny Lee, “One in a Million”

“One in a Million”

Johnny Lee

Written by Chick Rains

Radio & Records

#1 (3 weeks)

December 19, 1980 – January 2, 1981


#1 (2 weeks)

December 27, 1980 – January 3, 1981

Johnny Lee’s second No. 1 hit has the same mediocre performance and production as its predecessor, but this time, there isn’t a memorable turn of phrase to keep things even mildly interesting.

“One in a Million” is lyrically weak and does nothing to get the listener on the side of its protagonist.  He’s basically saying, “Your friends don’t like me, and I just like sleeping with you and spending time with you occasionally, but we’re going to stick together anyway. What are ya gonna do, leave?”

I mean…

I take your love in bits and piecesComin’ to you onlyWhen it eases that lonely feelin’That gets in my mindAnd you treat me so kind

Followed by…

I know your friends don’t think much of meThey say you’re a fool to love meBut girl I know they’ll never turn you around
You’re bound to love your hard luck poetWhen I let you down you don’t show itYou know it don’t matterThey can’t touch what we foundWhen the sun goes down
What a dick.
“One in a Million” gets a D.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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1 Comment

  1. More than dickish, I hear a defiance from the narrator who can see beyond the normative nagging about what an acceptable relationship should be.

    That doesn’t mean the relationship is pretty or even appropriate. It certainly sounds one-sided. However, the “hard luck poet” and his lover seem to provide one another the only light in their two seemingly lonely lives. I envision either a truck driver and cafe waitress of a musician with a flame in some small town. My mind’s eye sees two people in a bleak situation who don’t even necessarily know how to dream for more. They are begrudgingly grateful for what they have got, as unpredictable and uncertain as it is.

    The lilting melody matches the burnished sheen of a faded-rose kind of romance.

    This is a gritty, unsentimental, and uncomfortable love song.

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