Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: John Anderson, “Swingin'”


John Anderson

Written by John Anderson and Lionel Delmore

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

March 11 – March 18 , 1983


#1 (1 week)

March 26, 1983

John Anderson’s biggest hit of the eighties looked like it was going to be his career peak overall until his early nineties multiplatinum comeback.

“Swingin'” was a multiformat hit that sold over a million singles and powered the Wild & Blue album to gold, a highwater mark that Anderson wouldn’t see again until Seminole Wind.  It also nabbed him two awards at the 1983 CMAs: the Horizon Award and Single of the Year.

Not bad for a ditty that would’ve been little more than a novelty record in the hands of most artists.  What makes “Swingin'” so unique is the contrast between Anderson’s raw, twangy vocal and the countrypolitan arrangement, most evident when the backup singers are perfectly enunciating the title while Anderson drawls, “We were swaangin’.”

Anderson drags this ditty into the swamp, leaving no doubt what he and Charlotte were really getting up to on that front porch swing while her parents were otherwise occupied.  The way he casually tosses off, “Charlotte is my lover and she has been since the spring,” in the second verse is especially hilarious.

This is how you make a record that’s really about getting it on without sounding a like a cad. 

“Swingin'” gets an A

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. This song has always annoyed me. I did love “Straight Tequila Night.” Perhaps I need to give it another listen.

  2. “This is how you make a record that’s really about getting it on without sounding a like a cad.”
    T.G. Sheppard , take note.

  3. Disc jockeys around the country jumped the gun on “Swinging” playing it while “Wild and Blue” was still making its chart run. Here in Florida WSUN (St. Petersburg), WHOO (Orlando) and WPCV (Bartow) were getting so many requests to play “Swinging” (at the time merely an album cut) that it was being played nearly as much as “Wild and Blue”.

    John Anderson was a local, having grown up in Apopka, FL so the local stations tended to push his songs anyway, With this one, they went nuts.

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