“(Lost His Love) On Our Last Date”
Written by Floyd Cramer and Conway Twitty
#1 (1 week)
January 22, 1983
Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band was the stuff of legend, with early members like Rodney Crowell and Ricky Skaggs going on to major solo success after playing backup for the legendary singer.
So it’s a bit surprising that it took so long for Harris to do a live album with her Hot Band. Last Date was originally supposed to be a combination of her own hits and some covers, but it ultimately featured a collection of songs that Harris had never recorded on a studio album. Its lead single and title track became her first solo No. 1 single since “Beneath Still Waters” three years earlier.
“(Lost His Love) On Our Last Date” was a huge instrumental pop hit for Floyd Cramer in the early sixties. When Conway Twitty wrote some lyrics to go with it, he took it to the top of the country chart in 1972. Harris follows the Twitty template here, giving a typically tasteful reading of the song that is most impressive for its technical excellence, given that it’s recorded live.
The Hot Band is in fine form, and though it doesn’t include any future superstars in its iteration here, it does feature the musical talents of Steve Fishell, who would go on to produce Pam Tillis’ Sweetheart’s Dance and to win a Grammy for producing a Stephen Foster tribute album.
It’s far from the most compelling material that Emmylou Harris recorded during this time period, but as a showcase for the virtuoso talents of Emmylou Harris and her Hot Band, it works just fine.
“(Lost His Love) On Our Last Date” gets a B.
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I love, love, love this song. All 3 versions mentioned are excellent! Emmy can really wail away on a sad song, something I think maybe younger artist like Patty Loveless and others from the 90s picked up on from her.
Skeeter Davis had a top ten country hit with this tune in 1960 with very different lyrics. Her version was titled “My Last Date (With You)”. Skeeter’s version reached #4 country & # 26 pop, arguably making it the biggest vocal hit version of Floyd Cramer’s tune.
Harris still exists in a rarefied artistic space for me beyond time and space.
Another example of a song that sounded so good to my ears, I simply assumed it had to be older, if not a classic from an earlier decade.
How much more can the ’80s continue to offer?