Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Ricky Skaggs, “I Wouldn’t Change You if I Could”

“I Wouldn’t Change You if I Could”

Ricky Skaggs

Written by Paul Jones and Arthur Smith


#1 (1 week)

March 19, 1983

Ricky Skaggs revives a vintage country song with solid results.

“I Wouldn’t Change You if I Could” was originally recorded by Jim Eanes in the late fifties, an artist who was better known for his contributions to bluegrass than to country music, though he recorded and performed both styles. 

Skaggs does little to modernize the song for the eighties, but he performs it decently and the arrangement is strong.   Indeed, the most interesting thing about the record is it instrumentation, which is where Skaggs has always shined the brightest.  

This one doesn’t approach the heights of his best records from the era, but it is still a better listen than its neighbors on the radio that were running the Urban Cowboy sound into the ground by this point in time.

“I Wouldn’t Change You if I Could” gets a B


Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. …is perhaps randy travis’ “good intentions” the somewhat delayed answer song to this? or travis tritt’s “best of intentions”?

  2. Skaggs certainly held the fort for traditional country music right out of the gates. He always sounds so comfortable and confident, an artists who knows what he wants to do. This song rings so clearly and cleanly. Skaggs never feels like he is reaching or trying to be something he is not.

    Kevin’s point is well received insofar as the songs that didn’t ring the bell at the top of the charts probably tell just as much of the take about eighties country as do the number one hits.

    Those chart fillers would be interesting to track in their own right.

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