Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Holly Dunn, “Love Someone Like Me”

“Love Someone Like Me”

Holly Dunn

Written by Holly Dunn and Radney Foster

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

July 10, 1987

Holly Dunn hailed from San Antonio, Texas, the daughter of a visual artist and a preacher.  She grew up singing in church, and joined local folk and country bands as a teen and young adult. Her brother, Chris Waters, was also a songwriter and a musician, and they moved to Nashville together, where they both soon had publishing deals.

Dunn and Waters had their chart breakthrough with “I’m Not Through Loving You Yet,” a top ten hit for Louise Mandrell.  Soon, Dunn was signed to MTM Records, where her debut album was powered by its sole single: “Daddy’s Hands,” Dunn’s first big hit and signature song.  This positioned her well for Cornerstone, her sophomore set which featured three top ten hits, including the lead single, “Love Someone Like Me.”

We’re slowly entering the era of songs going to No. 1 on Radio & Records that missed in Billboard, as the two charts prepare to switch places and the weekly turnover moves to R&R in the nineties.  So while Dunn would score two No. 1 hits on the Billboard listings once she switched to Warner Bros., we get to feature a song from her MTM days that she wrote with Radney Foster, by virtue of it topping the R&R chart.

It’s an early gem of hers too, featuring a dark and driving acoustic arrangement that recalls Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” She makes a good case for loving someone like her, showcasing the grit that laid under her sunny vocal sweet spot. Dunn wouldn’t have a lengthy run on the radio, but while she was in rotation, she was one of the leading female artists of her day, and this record showcases her appeal as well as any of her hits.

The 1-2 punch of “Daddy’s Hands” and “Love Someone Like Me” made Dunn popular on the awards circuit in 1987, where she won the ACM Top New Female Vocalist and CMA Horizon Award trophies, and was nominated as a songwriter for “Daddy’s Hands” at the CMA and Grammy Awards.

“Love Someone Like Me” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I never picked up on the “Jolene” comparison before but you’re onto something, especially in those opening notes. The song’s darker arrangement is definitely its most attractive feature and, coupled with Dunn’s affable vocals, makes for an enjoyable listen. However, I never thought Dunn had another single even remotely in the league of “Daddy’s Hands” and am not surprised she got lost in the early 90s shuffle. I suspect she would have even without the “Maybe I Mean Yes” controversy given the scope of competition about to overwhelm the charts. While her voice got lost in the shuffle in the early 90s, what I wouldn’t give to have a female voice as pure as hers putting out hits on commercial country radio today. At this point, I’m starting to wonder if that’ll ever happen again as the good fight has been fought for at least a decade now on behalf of more women played on country radio, with depressingly little progress to date.

    Grade: B

  2. I was an am a big holly Dunn fan irrespective of other issues that she may have faced. Holly Dunn was the total package – she had the voice, the looks, the personality and she was a very talented songwriter. I have all of her albums and all of them are at least good. I would give this song an A-

    Why her career faded is open to discussion so I will just say is that in a just world Holly Dunn would still be with us making great recordings .

  3. Doesn’t this sound like a lost Pam Tillis track?

    What a clean sounding record. Dunn sounds absolutely amazing and convincing.

    This single would have been right at home on the charts in the early ’90s.

    I had absolutely no idea Radney Foster co-wrote this

    Going forward, it will be fun to see the coming stars of the ’90s increasingly show up as songwriters and back ground vocalists for these artists at the end of the’80s.

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