Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: The Oak Ridge Boys, “Everyday”


The Oak Ridge Boys

Written by Dave Loggins and J.D. Martin

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

August 31 – September 7, 1984


#1 (1 week)

October 6, 1984

The Oak Ridge Boys are one of the few artists to have their second greatest hits collection encompass more big hits than their first one did.

In fact, a pretty big hit was left off of Greatest Hits 2 – “Bobbie Sue” – to make room for two new songs and a key track from their Christmas album.

So “Everyday” has to stand out among established classics, which is already a tough hurdle to clear, and it makes things more difficult for itself by being so openly sentimental, making it an easy target for cynical critics.

As a card-carrying Gen Xer, there was a time I fit quite comfortably into that category.  Those days are long gone.  Now, I cling to any sign of humanity and empathy that I can find, and “Everyday” has that in spades.  

Here’s why I think it works so well: the Oaks put all of the onus on themselves to be the source of light for everyone that they meet, operating from the assumption that the stranger deserves the benefit of our doubt.   They aren’t preaching here. They’re teaching:

You know a kind work never goes unheardBut too often goes unsaidAnd on the tongue of the old and the youngGets swallowed up with pride instead
You know with all the trouble and sorrow in the worldIt seems like the least we can doJust take a kind word into the streetAnd share it with everybody you meet
They’re letting us in on the often kept secret that being kind to others is an act of kindness toward yourself as well.

You know a smile never goes out of styleSo brighten up the one that you wearLet it shine and you just might findYou’ll lighten up the load that you bear

They do some incredible things with their harmonies that shouldn’t go unnoted, even if I lack the technical terminology to capture it in words.  I’ll just say that when they mix things up in the second half of the record and go for a softer sound, it’s remarkably effective.

They bring so much joy and sincerity to “Everyday” that for 4 minutes and 3 seconds, it’s easy to imagine that kindness and compassion could cure all that is ailing us today.  

“Everyday” gets an A. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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1 Comment

  1. It was around know that I joined the Oak Ridge Boy’s fan club and hung wonderfully awkward and goofy glossies of Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban on my bedroom wall.

    Does anyone remember the calendars of country stars you would receive as a gift when subscribing to “Country Music” magazine? I would tear those apart and hang photos of my other favourite singers on my walls as well.

    I was a weird kid.

    I hope the Oaks have been an unexpected revelation for other readers following this series who may be hearing more of their music than they ever had before.

    I think they have a surprisingly strong catalogue that has aged unexpectedly well.

    I like to think “message” songs like this served me well, and influenced my outlook on life while growing up.

    The Oak Ridge Boys are cynic killers!

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