Every No. 1 Country Single of the Eighties: Ronnie McDowell, “Older Women”

“Older Women”

Ronnie McDowell

Written by Jamie O’Hara


#1 (1 week)

September 12, 1981

Ronnie McDowell was a young Vietnam veteran from Tennessee that idolized Elvis Presley.  When Presley died in 1977, McDowell was inspired to write and record “The King is Gone,” and it ended up launching his career, going top fifteen on both the country and pop chart and selling over a million copies.

McDowell quickly followed it with the top five country hit, “I Love You, I Love You, I Love You,” and he remained a fixture on the country singles chart into the eighties, occasionally reaching the top twenty.  After making it to No. 2 with “Wandering Eyes,” McDowell finally earned his first No. 1 single with the Jamie O’Hara composition, “Older Women.”

McDowell sings the praises of what we now call cougars, noting that older women have more experience, so they’re better in bed.

That’s it.  That’s the song.

By this point, he’d shaken off his Presley imitation and found his own singing style. McDowell’s a bit like the Oak Ridge Boys in that his delivery is so earnest that he couldn’t sound like a louse if he tried.

McDowell followed this with four more singles that all went at least top fifteen, and then earned his second and final hit, which we’ll cover in 1983.

“Older Women” gets a B.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

Previous: T.G. Sheppard, “Party Time” |

Next: Eddie Rabbitt, “Step By Step”


  1. It really is in the delivery a lot of the time, isn’t it? But this is a fun song more than anything, and a world apart from TG Sheppard. Well deserved B rating.

  2. Tone and attitude is everything! I have maintained the same thing with the Bellamy Brothers’ most recent chart toppers.

    I had no idea Jaime O’Hara wrote this song!

  3. …am i correct in assuming that this didn’t make the christian country top 40 at the time, even though it clearly conveys a message of love?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.