“Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On”
Written by Bob McDill
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
February 1, 1985
#1 (1 week)
February 23, 1985
Mel McDaniel’s only No. 1 hit came from the pen of Bob McDill, who entered the Country Music Hall of Fame last weekend.
McDaniel recorded many McDill songs over the course of his career, which was lengthier and more impactful than his sole chart topper would suggest. He brought such a Cajun flair to his work that it might surprise you he hailed from Oklahoma, where his slow journey to the top began by playing clubs in Tulsa. He released an independent single while he was there, then tried Nashville for the first time. When Music Row showed no interest, he became popular on the oil field circuit in Alaska.
A second Nashville jaunt led to a publishing deal and eventually a recording contract with Capitol Records, where he’d spend fourteen years on their roster. After a handful of minor hits, he scored a major breakthrough with “Louisiana Saturday Night,” which went top ten and became an enduring radio staple afterward. It was one of two top ten hits from his 1980 set I’m Countryfied, which he followed with Take Me to the Country. It featured the top ten title track and his first top five single, “Big Ole Brew.”
Two more albums followed, with one top ten hit between them. Then he previewed Let it Roll with “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On.” It’s quintessential Mel McDaniel, bursting with positive energy and respectfully celebrating the girl by his side who simply has no idea the impact that she’s having on the men around her. In both theme and arrangement, it heavily influenced Sammy Kershaw’s “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful.”
McDaniel didn’t have another No. 1 hit, but he made one of the most memorable early country music videos for his “Stand Up” single later in 1985. That was his final top five hit, and for the remainder of his stay at Capitol Records, he earned one more top ten hit: 1988’s “Real Good Feel Good Song.” He exited the label at the end of the decade, and released an independent album in 1991. Then, a stage accident in 1996 retired him early from the road, though he continued to make public appearances on the Opry and on television. In 2006, he released his final album, Reloaded.
His health deteriorated soon after, with a heart attack putting him in a medically induced coma. He recovered, only to be diagnosed with terminal lung cancer shortly thereafter. McDaniel passed away in 2011 at the age of 68, but he lives on through enduring his biggest hits, which still get regular airplay on country gold stations.
“Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” gets an A.
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