Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: The Statler Brothers, “Too Much On My Heart”

“Too Much On My Heart”

The Statler Brothers

Written by Jimmy Fortune


#1 (1 week)

November 30, 1985

Jimmy Fortune’s addition to the Statler Brothers continued to pay dividends, as he penned their final No. 1 hit in 1985.

“Too Much On My Heart” is a bit too saccharine for my personal tastes, but it remains remarkable how well Fortune embedded himself into a legendary group.   His lead vocal on this record is strong, and I think that a simpler production would’ve let his performance and the flawless harmonies from his bandmates shine brighter.

It’s an excellent piece of songwriting, and their live performances of it are superior to the record. I highly recommend seeking them out.

This was the lead single from Pardners in Rhyme, which became their third consecutive studio album to earn a gold certification.  They’d remain mainstays on country radio through the end of the decade, earning their final top ten single – “More Than a Name On a Wall” – in 1989.  It was co-written by Fortune.

Unlike many artists who faded from the radio after the eighties, the Statler Brothers remained enduringly popular.   They had a high rated television variety show on TNN that was popular in the nineties, often featuring new artists alongside veterans of earlier eras.  Their 1992 gospel album went gold, and their original hits collection from 1975 went platinum in 1991 and was triple platinum by 1994.

Their 2002 farewell concert was also tremendously popular, and is a remarkable show to boot.  These guys went out sounding just as great as they did when they were ruling the radio airwaves.  They still hold the record for CMA Vocal Group of the Year victories with nine wins in thirteen years.

The Statler Brothers were inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame in 2007 and Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.  Founding member Lew DeWitt passed away in 1990, and Harold Reid passed away in 2020.

“Too Much On My Heart” gets a B.


Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. The album of the Farewell Concert is one of my favorites. It has much better audio quality than a lot of live albums and serves as a strong compilation of their hits, often with more energy than the studio versions.

  2. When I listen to this song now, I can’t help but hear it as heralding the arrival of Ricky Van Shelton.

    Which is to take nothing away from Fortune’s beautiful lead vocals, the harmonies, and the soaring instrumentation.

    I feel this song in my bones. The gorgeous production simply resonates with me.

    I will miss the Statler Brothers and what they represented.

    Later attempts to similarly hold patriotism, love of your hometown, and the past in balance would miss the warmth and appeal of the Statler Brothers by a country mile.

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