Every No. 1 Country Single of the Eighties: Mickey Gilley, “That’s All That Matters”

“That’s All That Matters”

Mickey Gilley

Written by Hank Cochran


#1 (1 week)

December 20, 1980

Navigating Mickey Gilley’s catalog, it’s pretty obvious that he had a taste for previously recorded material, and good taste at that.

“That’s All That Matters” is the best record we’ve heard from him so far this decade. He gives a gorgeous Hank Cochran lyric an impassioned reading, supported by a solid piano track that’s in keeping with the Nashville Sound of it all.

It helps that this is one of Gilley’s more obscure covers, so there isn’t another big hit version to compare it to, though the Ray Price recording from his Burning Memories album is as great as you’d expect from a Price track from that era.  Gilley’s version gives a great song the attention it long deserved, and there isn’t a hint of doubt in his voice as he asserts that none of his lover’s former beaus matter to him, because she’s his now.

This was a lovely surprise, indeed, and should be in the conversation when folks are talking about the best Mickey Gilley singles.

“That’s All That Matters” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. It always seemed convenient for me to dismiss Gilley as an Urban Cowboy novelty act, sort of a period-piece pop-country artist with no lasting significance or legacy. I don’t recall any 90’s artists name-dropping Gilley as a musical influence. His bar and that mechanical bull seemed to be more important than his music.

    That opinion, however, is just factually wrong. It also fails to capture his versatility as a vocalist. It, in no way, captures the breadth of his career which began in back in the late fifties. He has had 17 Number 1 Billboard country hits, seven of which charted in the 70’s.

    His move towards toward a more countrypolitan sound was done with grace and good taste. His number one hits from 1980 alone are testament to that.

    He stood alone for his facility with this neo-Nashville Sound style in the early eighties, so smooth, confident, and sophisticated.

    Gilley was good. Listen to this gorgeous song for proof of that.

    It has been clear from his output in 1980 alone that Gilley was much more than that.

  2. I’m quite intrigued by the output of gilley so far. What would be a good album to check out that gets the essence of him as an artist? Any song recs aside from the numbers ones covered thus far?

    • I bought a two fer of “Room Full of Roses”/“Gilley’s Smokin” and really really enjoyed it…..however It was the most Money I ever spent on a cd that wasn’t a box set due to its rarity. I wanted it fit over a decade and couldn’t help myself. Honestly go for the the essential Mickey Gilley or “10 years of Hits”. Both are great.

  3. In 2016 Real Gone Music put out a nice two CD set (THE DEFINITIVE HITS COLLECTION) containing 39 tracks (37 chart records plus a pair of a live track and a song titled “#1 Rock ‘N’ Roll C&W Boogie Blues Man”. This may still be available.

    There is also a two-disc set containing the albums Songs We Made Love To / That’s All That Matters To Me / You Don’t Know Me / Put Your Dreams Away

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