Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: The Statler Brothers, “My Only Love”

“My Only Love”

The Statler Brothers

Written by Jimmy Fortune


#1 (1 week)

March 9, 1985

The addition of Jimmy Fortune to the Statler Brothers lineup continued to pay dividends, as the group earned its second number one single of the decade.

Fortune wrote “My Only Love” and sang the lead vocal.  His youthful tenor contrasts so beautifully with the venerable harmonies of his groupmates, and they give his message of eternal love some gravitas.  It feels like a wedding song where the groom is expressing his devotion and he’s lifted up by the elders surrounding him at the ceremony. 

Jerry Kennedy’s restrained production strikes a nice balance between their traditional Nashville sound and the emerging trend of simpler arrangements.  This could’ve easily been bogged down by an intrusive string section or the background vocals being too prominent.  

These choices elevates a standard wedding song into a sacrament.  It’s one of the most beautiful records that I’ve ever heard.

“My Only Love” gets an A.  

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. The successful second act The Statler Brothers experienced with Jimmy Fortune replacing Lew Dewitt in the ’80s was special.

    Their hits went from witty word play to genuine heart songs.

    With Fortune as the lead singer, the band achieved a transcendental purity of sound that separated them from their harmony singing competition.

    Even the might Oaks couldn’t compete with the timeless sense of beauty Fortune establishes here with Phil, Don, and Harold’s harmonies.

    In this decade, the Statler Brothers – as Kevin points out- drove their flag into this sacramental ground.

    It’s no wonder The Statler Brothers were as popular for as long as they were even once their chart success faded.


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