Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Mickey Gilley, “Talk to Me”

“Talk to Me”

Mickey Gilley

Written by Joe Seneca

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

 January 21, 1983


#1 (1 week)

 January 29, 1983

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Mickey Gilley digs up an old pop and R&B hit, slows it down a bit, and sings it in the style of the world’s greatest lounge singer.

There’s nothing inherently flawed about “Talk to Me.”  We’ve just heard him do so many old songs in the same way.  There isn’t any creative growth here, and it’s becoming more obvious as innovative records are topping the charts while pushing the genre forward.

He’d go back to this well a few more times, covering soul standards like “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me” and “I’m Your Puppet,” but this is the last time he’ll top the charts with one of them.

He still has two more No. 1 hits on deck – a solo record and a duet – and we’ll cover both of them before the end of 1983.

“Talk to Me” gets a B-

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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Next: Emmylou Harris, “(Lost His Love) On Our Last Date”

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  1. Can you go back to posting the YouTube videos for those of us who don’t have Spotify subs (not due to moral issues, I simply use a competitor lol)

  2. I admit this isn’t necessarily an innovative or an example of career growth; but I guess Mickey was doing it because he really had nothing else to prove to anyone by that time–and because he had this thing for doing golden oldies in a more modern pop/country style (in this case, the 1958 R&B/pop hit by Little Willie John). Compared to what the last thirteen years’ worth of Bromeisters have inflicted on the country genre, MG’s version of “Talk To Me” is a masterpiece (IMHO).

    • I hear Gilley confidently holding the countrypolitan country fort with this one. It is so confident and classy even if beginning to sound a bit out of time.

      An associated risk of finding your signature groove is becoming predictable and boring. Unless, your needle is beautifully buried in a sound as appealing as Gilley’s. Similar charges will later be laid at the feet of George Strait and Alan Jackson.

      There is an elegant cohesiveness and continuity when Gilley’s hits are listened to in succession.

      I am too big a Gilley fan to be disappointed by this performance.

  3. I have to admit I was never a big Mickey Gilley fan. He recorded good songs, and they were all competently done, but his style just never clicked with me. I always thought he went back to the pop cover well way too many times.

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