Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Gary Morris, “100% Chance of Rain”

“100% Chance of Rain”

Gary Morris

Written by Charlie Black and Austin Roberts


#1 (1 week)

March 29, 1986

You’ve got to be a damn good singer to wring emotion out of a weather report.

Thankfully, Gary Morris is a damn good singer.  The metaphor is clunky, but the sentiment is sincere: without the love of his life by his side, every day brings stormy weather.

Part of the reason this record works so well is that Morris shows restraint.  He’s an incredibly powerful vocalist, which is why he was able to transfer his skills to musical theater so successfully.  But here, he holds back, creating a moody atmosphere that supports the Groundhog Day weariness of waking up to the same old heartache every morning.

It’s still a heartbreak ballad that relies on a weather report as its central conceit.   But I don’t think it could’ve been done any better than this.

“100% Chance of Rain” gets a B+.


Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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1 Comment

  1. I just finished reading Randy Travis’s 2019 autobiography/memoir written with Ken Abraham.

    At one point before he broke, Travis shares how Lib Hatcher, his manager at the time, insisted the two of them crash the Acuff-Rose Invitational Golf Tournament neat Chapel Hill, Tennessee to make connections with ” anyone she thought might be remotely connected to the music business ”

    Lib struck up a conversation with an independent record promoter who invited her and Randy into a back room at the clubhouse. In that room were a young Keith Stegall, Charlie Monk, and Gary Morris.

    The promoter asked that Travis sing something for the boys. Travis had just written “Reasons I Cheat” and “Send My Body (Home on a Fright Train) so he sang those two song accompanied only with his guitar.

    Travis said, “I could see Keith and Gary exchanging looks of surprise.”

    Travis knew that Morris’ “The Wind Beneath My Wings” was a huge hit that had won song of the year honours from both the CMA and ACM.

    I share the anecdote because I love stories like this where one established other-wordly vocalist is surprised by a new-comer with equally outrageous vocal skills.

    I can’t help but wonder if Morris knew he was hearing something special and beyond the pale. How couldn’t he?

    It’s also fun to learn that Gary Morris and Randy Travis both existed in the same country music orbit given the going narrative is that artists like Garry Morris represented a style of country music that was somehow less-than and needed to be removed from Nashville by the new Traditionalists.

    The possibility that they were actually fans of one another is barely even considered.

    As landscaper working in Toronto, I am used to having my days dictated by weather reports, so I have no problem with a country song using a precipitation forecast as it’s central conceit.

    I love “100% Chance of Rain” and I love Gary Morris as a singer.

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