Every No. 1 Country Single of the Eighties: T.G. Sheppard, “I Feel Like Loving You Again”

“I Feel Like Loving You Again”

T.G. Sheppard

Written by Bobby Braddock and Sonny Throckmorton


#1 (1 week)

January 31, 1981

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

February 6, 1981

T.G. Sheppard takes a break from the salacious singles and delivers a straight ahead love song.

It’s a darn good song too, capturing the longing and desperation that sends a wounded lover back into the arms of the woman who has repeatedly hurt him.  It gives us an opportunity to hear Sheppard’s talents as a singer purely displayed, as there isn’t a single line in the song that would make a woman cautious about leaving him alone with her drink.

So how does he do as a singer of a straight ahead love song?

Dear God, he does terribly.  He’s reaching for notes that aren’t in the same zip code, and as he painfully strains himself, there’s a female back up singer responding to him in the chorus, and she’s using a little girl whisper that would make Barbara Fairchild say, “Nope. That’s too much.”

Mercifully, there’s a John Conlee version of this song and it’s so much better than the Sheppard version that they should be played back to back for the Country Music Hall of Fame nominating committee.  They’d induct Conlee on the spot by universal acclaim.

He’s back to the gutter with his next hit, and of course, it went to No. 1 as well.

“I Feel Like Loving You Again” gets a D.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I would give TG’s version a C- but I agree that Conlee’s version was better, a solid B+.

    Unfortunately, my copy of Conlee’s WITH LOVE album was on a cassette, so I will need to replace it

  2. Whereas radio simply indoctrinated me with Sheppard’s other number one hits to the point I can sing them upside down and inside out,mercifully I have no recollection of this absurd recording whatsoever.

    It sounds so disjointed, from his strained vocals to the curiously up-front drums to those creepy background vocals. Rather than sustain his singing, TG just drops out of the mix, which barely fills mixed at all. What a mess!

    Listening to it here, I like to believe even seven-year-old me recognized this song as crap and my subconscious made zero effort to commit even one neuron to archiving it in my developing brain.

    The crazy thing is, it’s a strong lyric written by two iconic songwriters.

    Bud Logan and John Conlee made it work beautifully.

    Buddy Killen and TG Sheppard made it hurt.

  3. Was there a single artist from the 90’s who plumbed the same lowly artistic depths as Sheppard has with his first three number one hits on the 80’s?

    Ol’ TG isn’t even passing “Nostalgia 101.”

    • Being vulgar wasn’t in vogue in the nineties. We had quite a few overdo it with the redneck humor but that’s about all I can ding the nineties for. Even the bad attempts at crossover didn’t top the charts often enough for it to be an issue.

      The 2000s will be a mess though. We’ve got to get through the jingoism era, the “CCM with a twang” era, the “I got this song title from an inspirational poster/bumper sticker” era, and then navigate the early days of bro country.

      I still don’t think any of the above will capture a chart topper as consistently awful as Sheppard has been so far in the eighties. Now when we get to the 2010s, all bets are off.

  4. Little Texas’s final two chart toppers were true stinkers in the 90’s. Maybe once we get to it, “Party Time” will be to TG Sheppard what “What Might Have Been” was to Little Texas; a fairly low creative high-water mark for each artist.

    You are right to point out that Sheppard’s offense is ideological. Little Texas’s offense was musical.

    Little Texas will not have to answer for their questionable musical instincts the same way TG Sheppard has to still answer for his willingness to repeatedly drop his artistic bucket in the same scummy well.

  5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: TG’s singing career hit its high water mark at the beginning with Devil in the Bottle and save for Party Time is all downhill from there. Just so forgettable and/or sleazy.

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