Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Ricky Skaggs, “Honey (Open That Door)”

“Honey (Open That Door)”

Ricky Skaggs

Written by Mel Tillis

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

May 11, 1984


#1 (1 week)

June 2, 1984

God bless Ricky Skaggs for doing what songwriter Mel Tillis and country legend Webb Pierce couldn’t pull off back in the sixties: making “Honey (Open That Door)” into a big country hit.

“Honey” is one of Mel’s cleverest compositions, and Skaggs has a ball with it.  It doesn’t hurt that Skaggs is backed by stellar musicianship and lovely harmony vocals from the Whites.  

Much like Vince Gill’s rave ups in the early nineties, Skaggs isn’t terribly convincing as a wild man.  That makes this record all the more endearing, as he plays the sad sack to perfection as he begs his partner to let him back into the house. 

Turns out the wild life just isn’t for him, and he’ll take sleeping on the floor as a win, as long as he’s indoors.

This is one of the year’s most entertaining records.

“Honey (Open That Door)” gets an A

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. Webb Pierce was the first to record this song on his 1962 HIDEAWAY HEART album, BUT it was not released as a single. The DJs at WCMS did play the album track occasionally. Pierce was good at playing the wild man and for me it’s a tossup whether I like Ricky’s or Webb’s version better.

    • I think Webb tried to release it as single much later on for MCA, but that was in 1975 and way past his radio heyday.

      I’m sure it would’ve done well for him if the original version had been sent to radio back in the early 60s

  2. Add Webb Pierce’s name to the list of iconic influences still relevant and connected to ’80s country chart toppers. We have already discussed Lefty Frizzell and Bob Wills when reacting to recent hits by Merle Haggard and George Strait.

    This Skaggs’ song feels like over-hearing drama with your neighbours, no? It is delightfully nosey and voyeuristic. It is entertaining and dramatic in spades.

    Skaggs sounds like he should be grouped with the gaggle of legends still having chart success this decade but he is a newcomer who represents an inchoate new country music going forward.

    This is an ’80s classic

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