Gene Watson Features: Obie Burnett McClinton (Thursday 25 April 1940 – Wednesday 25 September 1987) – An Appreciation

Obie Burnett McClinton was born on Thursday 25 April 1940 in Senatobia, Mississippi; he was the second-youngest child born to Reverend G. A. McClinton, a clergyman and farmer, who owned his own 700-acre ranch in Mississippi, not far from Memphis, Tennessee.

Obie McClinton listened to Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 – Thursday 1 January 1953) as a child, thus sparking his initial interest in country music and subconsciously shaping his singing style.

After high school, Obie McClinton ran away from home and headed for San Francisco.  However, he only reached Memphis; while there, in a Beale Street shop, he bought his first guitar.

With his travel money gone, Obie McClinton returned home; he won a choir scholarship to Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi where he sang in the acappella choir.  In 1966, Obie McClinton graduated after four years of study.  Soon after, he was drafted into the United States Army, but as this didn’t please him, he volunteered for the Air Force during December 1966.

While in the Armed Forces, Obie McClinton began winning service talent shows and, as a result, he spent a lot of time entertaining and writing rhythm and blues songs; this led to a writing contract from Fame Publishing Company in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Obie McClinton remained in the services for four years and, following discharge, his original rhythm and blues songs became popular.

Otis Redding (Tuesday 9 September 1941 – Sunday 10 December 1967) recorded Obie McClinton’s ‘Keep Your Arms Around Me’ and included the track on ‘The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads’ (Volt Records / Stax Records, 1965).

James Carr (Saturday 13 June 1942 – Sunday 7 January 2001) recorded Obie McClinton’s ‘You’ve Got My Mind Messed Up’ and included the track on ‘You Got My Mind Messed Up’ (Goldwax Records, 1966); the track reached No.7 on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart in 1966, and No.63 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1963.

James Carr (Saturday 13 June 1942 – Sunday 7 January 2001) recorded Obie McClinton’s ‘Lovable Girl’ and included the track on ‘You Got My Mind Messed Up’ (Goldwax Records, 1966).

James Carr (Saturday 13 June 1942 – Sunday 7 January 2001) recorded Obie McClinton’s ‘Forgetting You’ and included the track on ‘You Got My Mind Messed Up’ (Goldwax Records, 1966).

James Carr (Saturday 13 June 1942 – Sunday 7 January 2001) recorded Obie McClinton’s ‘She’s Better Than You’ and included the track on ‘You Got My Mind Messed Up’ (Goldwax Records, 1966).

James Carr: 'A Man Needs a Woman' (Goldwax Records, 1968)

James Carr (Saturday 13 June 1942 – Sunday 7 January 2001) recorded Obie McClinton’s ‘A Man Needs A Woman’ and included the track on ‘A Man Needs A Woman’ (Goldwax Records, 1968); the track reached No.16 on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart in 1968, and No.63 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1968.

Although Obie McClinton attempted to become a rhythm & blues singer, he was not successful in doing so.

While Obie McClinton was in the United States Air Force, a friend had introduced him to a Charley Pride (Friday 18 March 1934 РSaturday 12 December 2020) album and this encouraged Obie to further his career.

Obie McClinton wrote some country songs and then made a demo tape.

One day in a hotel, Obie McClinton met an ex-deejay friend of his, Al Bell, who had since become a top executive for Stax Records and Obie played him his demo tape of country songs.

The result of this chance meeting was a recording contract, which was signed on Tuesday 12 January 1971 and, as a result, Obie McClinton became the first country music artist on the Stax Country record label, Enterprise Records.

Obie McClinton: 'O.B. McClinton Country' (Enterprise Records, 1972)

In 1972, Obie McClinton saw the release of ‘O.B. McClinton Country’ (Enterprise Records, 1972), which was produced by Jim Malloy, and included the following tracks:

‘Deep In The Heart of Me’, which was written by JoAnn Bullard McClinton (Monday 9 April 1945 – Sunday 26 January 2014) / this track was released as a single in 1972

‘Slip Away’, which was written by Marcus Lewis Daniel, Wilbur Terrell (Friday 29 January 1943 – Thursday 6 January 2011) and William Armstrong
‘The Feeling Is Right & The Time Is Right Now’ (written by George Jackson and Mickey Buckins)

‘Okie From Muskogee’, which was written by Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 – Wednesday 6 April 2016) and Roy Edward Burris (Tuesday 27 October 1931 – Tuesday 19 April 2011) / the original version of this track was recorded by Merle Haggard, who included it on ‘Okie From Muskogee’ (Capitol Records, 1969); Merle Haggard‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for four weeks in November / December 1969

‘Yours Love’, which was written by Harlan Howard (Thursday 8 September 1927 – Sunday 3 March 2002)
‘The Ballad of A Stamp Licker’, which was written by Quinton Mavis Claunch (3 December 1921 – Saturday 10 April 2021)
‘San Bernardino’, which was written by Wayne Carson (Monday 31 May 1943 – Monday 20 July 2015)

‘Country Music, That’s My Thing’, which was written by JoAnn Bullard McClinton (Monday 9 April 1945 – Sunday 26 January 2014) / this track was released as a single in 1971

‘You Only Want Me For My Body’ (written by Bobby Braddock)

‘Bad Guys Don’t Always Wear Black Hats’ (written by Bobby Fischer) / this track was released as a single in 1971

Personnel involved in the recording of Obie McClinton’s ‘O.B. McClinton Country’ (Enterprise Records, 1972) included the following:

Bergen White, Buzz Cason and Carol Montgomery (backing vocals)
Henry Strzelecki (Tuesday 8 August 1939 – Monday 29 December 2014) and Junior Huskey (bass)
Jerry Kirby Carrigan (Monday 13 September 1943 – Saturday 22 June 2019) (drums)
Chip Young (Thursday 19 May 1938 – Saturday 20 December 2014) (electric guitar)
Buddy Spicher and Tommy Jackson (Wednesday 31 March 1926 – Sunday 9 December 1979) (fiddle)
Farrell Morris (percussion)
Ronnie Oates (piano)
Jerry Shook and Pete Wade (rhythm guitar)
Curly Chalker and Weldon Myrick (Monday 10 April 1939 – Monday 2 June 2014) (steel guitar)

In 1972, Obie McClinton saw the release of ‘Obie From Senatobie’ (Enterprise Records, 1972), which was produced by Jim Malloy, Obie McClinton and Tommy Strong, and included four tracks, which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:

‘Six Pack of Trouble’ (written by Jerry G. Ward) (No.70, 1972)

‘Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You’ (written by Jerry David Akines, Johnnie Lee Bellmon, Reginald Turner and Victor Drayton) (No.37, 1972)

‘My Whole World Is Falling Down’ (written by Bettye Jean Crutcher Barnes and Booker T. Jones) (No.36, 1973)

‘I Wish It Would Rain’, which was written by Barrett Strong, Norman Jesse Whitfield (Sunday 12 May 1940 – Tuesday 16 September 2008) and Rodger Penzabene (1945 – Sunday 31 December 1967) (No.67, 1973)

Obie McClinton’s ‘Obie From Senatobie’ (Enterprise Records, 1972) also included the following tracks, which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:

‘I Want You In The Morning’, which was written by Kermit Goell (28 January 1915 – Thursday 4 December 1997)
‘She’s That Kind’, which was written by Ben Peters (Tuesday 20 June 1933 – Wednesday 25 May 2005)
‘Sometimes I Like To Be Alone’ (written by Jerry Glenn Ward)

‘I Wish It Would Rain’, which was written by Barrett Strong, Norman Jesse Whitfield (Sunday 12 May 1940 – Tuesday 16 September 2008) and Rodger Penzabene (1945 – Sunday 31 December 1967) / this track was released as a single in 1973

‘Today I Started Loving You Again’, which was written by Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 – Wednesday 6 April 2016) and Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 – Monday 24 April 2006) / the original version of this track was recorded by Merle Haggard, who included it on ‘The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde’ (Capitol Records, 1968); the track, ‘The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde’ (written by Merle Haggard) was No.1¬†on the Billboard country music singles chart for two weeks in April / May 1968) / the ‘B’ side of this track was ‘Today I Started Loving You Again’; although Merle Haggard‘s version was never released as a single, it has become a country music standard, recorded by more than one hundred different artists

‘Walking On New Grass’, which was written by Ray Pennington (Friday 22 December 1933 – Wednesday 7 October 2020) / the original version of this track was recorded by James Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Price (Wednesday 27 May 1931 – Tuesday 4 August 1987), who included it on ‘One Hit Follows Another’ (Boone Records, 1967); Kenny Price’s version of the track reached No.7 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1966

‘(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right’, which was written by Carl Mitchell Hampton,¬†Homer Banks (Saturday 2 August 1941 – Thursday 3 April 2003) and Raymond Earl Jackson (1941 – Friday 10 November 1972) / the original version of this track was recorded by Barbara Mandrell, who included it on ‘Moods’ (ABC Records, 1978); Barbara Mandrell‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in April 1979, and No.31 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1979

‘Obie From Senatobie’, which was written by JoAnn Bullard McClinton (Monday 9 April 1945 – Sunday 26 January 2014)

‘The Unluckiest Songwriter In Nashville’ (written by Bobby Fischer) / this track was released as a single in 1973

Personnel involved in the recording of Obie McClinton’s ‘Obie From Senatobie’ (Enterprise Records, 1972) included the following:

Bergen White, Carol Montgomery and James E. Cason) (backing vocals)
Jerry Kirby Carrigan (Monday 13 September 1943 – Saturday 22 June 2019) (drums)
Buddy Spicher (fiddle)
Chip Young (Thursday 19 May 1938 – Saturday 20 December 2014), Jerry Shook and Pete Wade (guitar)
Jerry Smith and Jerry Whitehurst (piano)
Weldon Myrick (Monday 10 April 1939 – Monday 2 June 2014) (steel guitar)

Obie McClinton: 'Obie McClinton - Live At Randy's Rodeo' (Enterprise Records, 1973)

In 1973, Obie McClinton saw the release of ‘Obie McClinton – Live At Randy’s Rodeo’ (Enterprise Records, 1973), which included the following tracks:

‘Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You’ (written by Jerry David Akines, Johnnie Lee Bellmon, Reginald Turner and Victor Drayton) / the original version of this track was included on Obie McClinton’s ‘Obie From Senatobie’ (Enterprise Records, 1972), and reached No.37 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1972

‘The Lord Knows I’m Drinking’ (written by Bill Anderson) / the original version of this track was recorded by Cal Smith (Thursday 7 April 1932 – Thursday 10 October 2013), who included it on ‘I’ve Found Someone of My Own’ (Decca Records, 1972); Cal Smith‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in March 1973, and reached No.64 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1973

‘Today I Started Loving You Again’, which was written by Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 – Wednesday 6 April 2016) and Bonnie Owens (Tuesday 1 October 1929 – Monday 24 April 2006) / the original version of this track was recorded by Merle Haggard, who included it on ‘The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde’ (Capitol Records, 1968); the track, ‘The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde’ (written by Merle Haggard) was No.1¬†on the Billboard country music singles chart for two weeks in April / May 1968) / the ‘B’ side of this track was ‘Today I Started Loving You Again’; although Merle Haggard‘s version was never released as a single, it has become a country music standard, recorded by more than one hundred different artists

‘Hollywood Star’

‘All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)’, which was written by Arthur Leo ‘Doodle’ Owens (Friday 28 November 1930 – Monday 4 October 1999) and¬†Dallas Frazier¬†(Friday 27 October 1939 – Friday 14 January 2022) / the original version of this track was recorded by Charley Pride¬†(Friday 18 March 1934 – Saturday 12 December 2020), who included it on ‘The Best of Charley Pride’ (RCA Records, 1969); Charley Pride‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in August 1969

‘Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone’, which was written by Glenn W. Martin (Thursday 30 June 1932 – Sunday 12 May 2019) and¬†Dave Kirby (Sunday 10 July 1938 – Saturday 17 April 2004) / the original version of this track was recorded by Charley Pride¬†(Friday 18 March 1934 – Saturday 12 December 2020), who included it on ‘Charley Pride’s 10th Album’ (RCA Records, 1970); Charley Pride‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for two weeks in April / May 1970

‘I Can’t Believe That You’ve Stopped Loving Me’, which was written by Arthur Leo ‘Doodle’ Owens (Friday 28 November 1930 – Monday 4 October 1999) and Dallas Frazier¬†(Friday 27 October 1939 – Friday 14 January 2022) / the original version of this track was recorded by Charley Pride¬†(Friday 18 March 1934 – Saturday 12 December 2020), who included it on ‘From Me To You’ (RCA Records, 1970);¬†Charley Pride‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart No.1 for two weeks in November 1970

‘I’m So Afraid of Losing You Again’, which was written by Arthur Leo ‘Doodle’ Owens (Friday 28 November 1930 – Monday 4 October 1999) and Dallas Frazier¬†(Friday 27 October 1939 – Friday 14 January 2022) / the original version of this track was recorded by Charley Pride¬†(Friday 18 March 1934 – Saturday 12 December 2020), who included it on¬†‘Just Plain Charley’ (RCA Records, 1970);¬†Charley Pride‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for three weeks in December 1969 / January 1970)

‘Kiss An Angel Good Morning’, which was written by¬†Ben Peters (Tuesday 20 June 1933 – Wednesday 25 May 2005) / the original version of this track was recorded by Charley Pride¬†(Friday 18 March 1934 – Saturday 12 December 2020), who included it on ‘Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs’ (RCA Records, 1971); Charley Pride‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for five weeks in December 1971 / January 1972, reached No.21 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1971, was a Top 10 hit single on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart in 1971, and¬†reached No.19 on the Cash Box Top 100 Chart in 1971 / this track was also recorded by¬†Heather Myles, who included it on ‘Highways & Honky Tonks’ (Rounder Records, 1998)

‘Kiss An Angel Good Morning’ became Charley Pride‘s biggest hit single, and signature song, and sold a million copies; the track helped Charley Pride (Friday 18 March 1934 – Saturday 12 December 2020) win the Country Music Association’s prestigious ‘Entertainer of The Year’ Award in 1971, as well as ‘Top Male Vocalist’ (also in 1971).

‘Heartbreak Hotel’, which was written by Mae Boren Axton (Monday 14 September 1914 – Wednesday 9 April 1997) and Tommy Durden (Monday 15 December 1919 – Sunday 17 October 1999) / the original version of this track was recorded by Elvis Presley (Tuesday 8 January 1935 – Tuesday 16 August 1977), and released as a single on Friday 27 January 1956; the track, which was No.1 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart for seven weeks in 1956, No.1 on Cashbox’s Pop Singles Chart for six weeks in 1956, No.1 on the Country & Western Chart for seventeen weeks in 1956, and No.3 on the R&B Chart in 1956, became Elvis Presley’s first million-seller, and one of the best-selling singles of 1956, was subsequently included on ‘Elvis’ Golden Records’ (RCA Victor Records, 1958)

‘Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You’ (written by Jerry David Akines, Johnnie Lee Bellmon, Reginald Turner and Victor Drayton) (No.37, 1972) / this track, which was originally included on Obie McClinton’s ‘Obie From Senatobie’ (Enterprise Records, 1972), reached No.37 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1972

Obie McClinton: 'If You Loved Her That Way' (Enterprise Records, 1974)

In 1974, Obie McClinton saw the release of ‘If You Loved Her That Way’ (Enterprise Records, 1974), which was produced by Obie McClinton, Larry Butler (Thursday 26 March 1942 – Friday 20 January 2012), Tommy Strong and Merlin Littlefield, and included two tracks, which were hit singles on the Billboard country music singles chart:

‘Something Better’ (written by Mike Kosser and Rafe Van Hoy) (No.62, 1974)

‘If You Loved Her That Way’, which was written by Ben Peters (Tuesday 20 June 1933 – Wednesday 25 May 2005) (No.86, 1974)

Obie McClinton’s ‘If You Loved Her That Way’ (Enterprise Records, 1974) also included the following tracks:

‘Clean Your Own Tables’ (written by Chip Taylor)
‘Goodbye’, which was written by Buddy Killen (Sunday 13 November 1932 – Wednesday 1 November 2006) and Larry Butler (Thursday 26 March 1942 – Friday 20 January 2012)
‘I Still Go To Memphis In My Mind’ (written by Bobby Fischer and Ricci Mareno)
‘It Gets Lonesome’ (written by Barbara Fairchild and Penny Lane)

‘Slippin’ Away’ (written by Bill Anderson) / the original version of this track was recorded by¬†Jean Shepard (Tuesday 21 November 1933 – Sunday 25 September 2016), who included it on ‘Slippin’ Away’ (United Artists Records, 1973); Jean Shepard‘s version of the track reached No.4 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1973, and No.3 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks Chart in 1973

‘Hallelujah’ (written by Bob McRee, Cliff Thomas and Ed Thomas)
‘Lean On Me’, which was written by Bill Withers (Monday 4 July 1938 – Monday 30 March 2020)
‘Dixie (She Was Mama To Me)’ (written by Johnny Koonse)
‘Mr. Miller’s Granddaughter’, which was written by Jim Miller and JoAnn Bullard McClinton (Monday 9 April 1945 – Sunday 26 January 2014)

It was also in 1974 when Obie McClinton saw the release, on Enterprise Records, of ‘Yours & Mine’ (written by Al Middelton), a non-album single, which reached No.77 on the Billboard country music singles chart.

In 1975, Obie McClinton saw the release, on Enterprise Records, of ‘The Most Wanted Woman (Is An Unloved Wife)’ (written by Johnny Jones and Bobby Fischer), a non-album single.

Dr. Hook: 'Bankrupt' (Capitol Records, 1975)a

Dr. Hook recorded Obie McClinton’s ‘Let Me Be Your Lover’ and included the track on ‘Bankrupt’ (Capitol Records, 1975).

In 1975, Stax Records went out of business and, as a consequence, Obie McClinton moved over to Mercury Records in 1976, where he saw the release of a non-album single, ‘It’s So Good Lovin’ You’ (written by Obie McClinton), which, sadly, only reached No.100 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1976.

Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock recorded Obie McClinton’s ‘Footprints On The Windshield Upside Down’ (co-written with Bill Carlisle) and included the track on ‘Crash’ (ABC Records / Dot Records, 1976).

In 1976, Obie McClinton saw the release, on Mercury Records, of ‘Black Speck’ (written by Obie McClinton), a non-album single.

For a number of years during the 1970s, Obie McClinton relied on his live work.

In 1977, Obie McClinton saw the release, on ABC Records, of ‘Who’s Making Love’ (written by Homer Banks, Betty Crutcher, Don Davis and R. Jackson), a non-album single.

In 1977, Obie McClinton saw the release, on ABC Records / Dot Records, of ‘Country Roots’ (written by Obie McClinton), a non-album single.

In 1977, Obie McClinton saw the release, on ABC Records, of ‘Talk To My Children’s Mama’ (written by Frank Meyers), a non-album single.

In 1977, Obie McClinton saw the release, on Mercury Records, of ‘Sweet Thang’ (written by D. Shipley and Rafe Van Hoy), a non-album single.

Epic Records

In 1978, Obie McClinton signed to Epic Records and saw the release of the following four Billboard country music singles:

‘Hello, This Is Anna’ (No.90, 1978) / this track was a duet with Peggy Jo Adams

‘Natural Love’, which was written by Razzy Bailey (Tuesday 14 February 1939 – Thursday 5 August 2021)
(No.82, 1978)

‘The Real Thing’ (written by Obie McClinton)
(No.79, 1979)

‘Soap’ (written by Obie McClinton)
(No.58, 1979)

Obie McClinton: 'The Chocolate Cowboy' (Sunbird Records, 1980)

In 1980, Obie McClinton moved to Sunbird Records and saw the release of ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980), as a result of which he was credited as ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’; the album included one track, which was a hit single on the Billboard country music singles chart:

‘Not Exactly Free’¬†(written by Dave Hall and Gary Lumpkin) (No.62, 1980) / this track was Obie McClinton’s last Billboard chart record until 1984, when he achieved a Billboard hit single with ‘Honky Tonk Tan’ (written by Randy Hatch, Josh Whitmore and Obie McClinton) (No.69, 1984), which was released on Moonshine Records

Obie McClinton’s ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980) also included the following tracks:

‘Cowboy National Anthem’ (written by Obie McClinton)

‘Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You’ (written by Jerry David Akines, Johnnie Lee Bellmon, Reginald Turner and Victor Drayton)
/ the original version of this track was included on Obie McClinton’s ‘Obie From Senatobie’ (Enterprise Records, 1972), and reached No.37 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1972

‘Don’t Trust A Cowboy (When The Lights Are Low)’ (written by Dave Hall and Gary Lumpkin)
‘I’m Just An Old Chunk of Coal’, which was written by Billy Joe Shaver (Wednesday 16 August 1939 – Wednesday 28 October 2020)
‘California Cowboy’ (written by R. Bergman and A. Jones)

‘Family Tradition’ (written by Hank Williams Jr.) / the original version of this track was recorded by Hank Williams Jr., who included it on ‘Family Reunion’ (Elektra Records / Curb Records, 1979); Hank Williams Jr.’s version of the track reached No.4 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1979

‘All Purpose, Reusable Woman’ (written by Obie McClinton)

‘Elvira’, which was written by Dallas Frazier (Friday 27 October 1939 – Friday 14 January 2022) / the original version of this track was recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys, who included it on ‘Fancy Free’ (MCA Records, 1981); the track, which was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in May / June 1981, and reached No.5 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in Summer 1981 sold more than one million copies, and was awarded ‘Single of The Year’ by both The Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM), both netting¬†The Oak Ridge Boys their only Grammy Award as a country music act

‘Longing For The High’ (written by Obie McClinton and Steve McCarvey)
‘Chocolate Cowboy’

‘Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You’ (written by Hugh Moffatt and Pebe Sebert) / the original version of this track was recorded by Dolly Parton, who included it on ‘Dolly Dolly Dolly’ (RCA Victor Records, 1980); Dolly Parton’s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in September / October 1980 / this track was also recorded by Hugh Moffatt, who included it on ‘Loving You’ (Rounder Records / Philo Records, 1987), as a duet with Kathy Mattea

‘This Time I’ve Hurt Her More (Than She Loves Me)’, which was written by Earl Thomas Conley (Friday 17 October 1941 – Wednesday 10 April 2019) and Mary Larkin / the original version of this track was recorded by Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 – Saturday 5 June 1993), who included it on ‘This Time I’ve Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me’ (MCA Records, 1976); Conway Twitty’s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in January / February 1976

‘Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’, which was written by Ed Bruce (Friday 29 December 1939 – Friday 8 January 2021) and Patsy Ann Bruce (n√©e Smithson) (Friday 8 March 1940 – Sunday 16 May 2021) / the original version of this track was recorded by Ed Bruce, who included it on ‘Ed Bruce’ (United Artists Records, 1976); Ed Bruce‘s version of the track reached No.15 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1975

‚ÄĘ this track was also recorded by Waylon Jennings (Tuesday 15 June 1937 – Wednesday 13 February 2002) & Willie Nelson, who included it on ‘Waylon & Willie’ (RCA Victor Records, 1978); Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson’s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for four weeks in March / April 1978 and earned a Grammy Award

‘Looking For Love’ (written by Bob Morrison, Wanda Mallette and Patti Ryan) / the original version of this track was recorded by Johnny Lee, who included it on ‘Lookin’ For Love’ (Asylum Records, 1980); Johnny Lee‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for three weeks in September 1980, reached No.5 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1980, and No.18 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks Chart in 1980 / By Tuesday 11 November 1980, Johnny Lee‘s version of the track had sold one million copies

‘Crosseyed Clyde’
‘Don’t Judge A Cowboy By His Boots’
‘Let’s Hear It For The Cowgirls’
‘Walking After Kim’ (written by Obie McClinton)

‘Blanket On The Ground’, which was written by Roger D. Bowling (Sunday 3 December 1944 – Sunday 26 December 1982) / the original version of this track was recorded by Billie Jo Spears (Friday 14 January 1938 – Wednesday 14 December 2011), who included it on ‘Blanket On The Ground’ (United Artists Records, 1974); Billie Jo Spears’ version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles for one week in April / May 1975, and reached No.78 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1975

George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 – Friday 26 April 2013) recorded Obie McClinton’s ‘Ol’ George Stopped Drinkin’ Today’ and included the track on ‘Shine On’ (Epic Records, 1983).

In 1984, Obie McClinton saw the release, on Moonshine Records, of ‘Honky Tonk Tan’ (written by Randy Hatch, Josh Whitmore and Obie McClinton), a non-album single, which reached No.69 on the Billboard country music singles chart.

Obie McClinton: 'O.B.' (Brylen Records, 1984)

It was also in 1984 when Obie McClinton saw the release of ‘O.B.’ (Brylen Records, 1984), which included the following tracks:

‘Cowboy National Anthem’ (written by Obie McClinton) / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980)

‘Not Exactly Free’ (written by Dave Hall and Gary Lumpkin) / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980), and reached No.62 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1980

‘Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You’ (written by Jerry David Akines, Johnnie Lee Bellmon, Reginald Turner and Victor Drayton) / the original version of this track was included on Obie McClinton’s ‘Obie From Senatobie’ (Enterprise Records, 1972), and reached No.37 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1972

‘Don’t Trust A Cowboy (When The Lights Are Low)’ (written by Dave Hall and Gary Lumpkin) / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980)

‘I’m Just An Old Chunk of Coal’, which was written by Billy Joe Shaver (Wednesday 16 August 1939 – Wednesday 28 October 2020) / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980)

‘California Cowboy’ (written by R. Bergman and A. Jones) / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980)

‘Family Tradition’ (written by Hank Williams Jr.) / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980) / the original version of this track was recorded by Hank Williams Jr., who included it on ‘Family Reunion’ (Elektra Records / Curb Records, 1979); Hank Williams Jr.’s version of this track reached No.4 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1979

‘All Purpose, Reusable Woman’ (written by Obie McClinton) / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980)

‘Elvira’, which was written by Dallas Frazier (Friday 27 October 1939 – Friday 14 January 2022) / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980) / the original version of this track was recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys, who included it on ‘Fancy Free’ (MCA Records, 1981); the track, which was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in May / June 1981, and reached No.5 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in Summer 1981 sold more than one million copies, and was awarded ‘Single of The Year’ by both The Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM), both netting¬†The Oak Ridge Boys their only Grammy Award as a country music act

‘Longing For The High’ (written by Obie McClinton and Steve McCarvey) / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’ (Sunbird Records, 1980)

Gene Watson recorded Obie McClinton’s ‘The New York Times’ and included the track on ‘Memories to Burn‘ (Epic Records, 1985).

Obie Burnett McClinton: 'Just For You' (CBS Special Products, 1988)

‘The New York Times’ was also recorded by Obie Burnett McClinton (Thursday 25 April 1940 – Wednesday 25 September 1987) (unsure of date of recording); the track was subsequently included on ‘Just For You’ (CBS Special Products, 1988).

On Monday 9 May 2011, England’s Hux Records released Gene Watson‘s ‘Memories to Burn‘ (Epic Records, 1985), along with¬†Gene Watson‘s ‘Starting New Memories‘ (Epic Records, 1986), as a special ‘2-for-1‘ CD set; the ‘2-for-1’ CD set was released world-wide on Tuesday 17 May 2011.

In 1986, Obie McClinton became ill as a result of abdominal cancer.

Members of the country music community, including Ricky Skaggs, Reba McEntire, Exile, Tom T. Hall (Monday 25 May 1936 – Friday 20 August 2021), Ronnie McDowell, Buddy Killen (Sunday 13 November 1932 – Wednesday 1 November 2006), Ralph Emery (Friday 10 March 1933 – Saturday 15 January 2022), Billy Deaton, Kathy Mattea, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, and Waylon Jennings (Tuesday 15 June 1937 – Wednesday 13 February 2002) rallied around and put on a star-studded benefit concert to help to defray his medical expenses.

Obie McClinton: 'Album No.1' (Suffolk Marketing / Homegrown Products, 1986)
Obie McClinton: 'Obie McClinton - Live At Randy's Rodeo' (Enterprise Records, 1973)

In 1986, Obie McClinton saw the release of ‘Album No.1’ (Suffolk Marketing / Homegrown Products, 1986), which included the following tracks:

‘Hey, Good Lookin’, which was written by Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 – Thursday 1 January 1953) / the original version of this track was recorded by Hank Williams, and was released as a non-album single in 1951, when it was No.1 on the Country & Western Chart; the track was subsequently included on Hank Williams’ ‘Memorial Album’ (MGM Records, 1953)

‘Lady Diana’
‘Swingin’
‘Bop’

‘American Made’ (written by¬†Bob DiPiero and Pat McManus) / the original version of this track was recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys, who included it on ‘American Made’ (MCA Records, 1983); The Oak Ridge Boys‘ version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in April 1983

‘(Don’t Mess With) My Toot Toot’, which was written by¬†Sidney Simien (Saturday 9 April 1938 – Wednesday 25 February 1998) / the original version of this track was recorded by Sidney Simien, who was known professionally as Rockin’ Sidney, who included it on ‘My Zydeco Shoes Got The Zydeco Blues’ (Maison de Soul Records, 1984); Sidney Simien’s version of the track reached No.19 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1985 and earned him a Grammy Award

‘Kiss An Angel Good Morning’, which was written by¬†Ben Peters (Tuesday 20 June 1933 – Wednesday 25 May 2005) / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘Obie McClinton – Live At Randy’s Rodeo’ (Enterprise Records, 1973) / the original version of this track was recorded by Charley Pride¬†(Friday 18 March 1934 – Saturday 12 December 2020), who included it on ‘Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs’ (RCA Records, 1971); Charley Pride‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for five weeks in December 1971 / January 1972, reached No.21 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1971, was a Top 10 hit single on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart in 1971, and¬†reached No.19 on the Cash Box Top 100 Chart in 1971 / this track was also recorded by¬†Heather Myles, who included it on ‘Highways & Honky Tonks’ (Rounder Records, 1998)

‘Kiss An Angel Good Morning’ became Charley Pride‘s biggest hit single, and signature song, and sold a million copies; the track helped Charley Pride (Friday 18 March 1934 – Saturday 12 December 2020) win the Country Music Association’s prestigious ‘Entertainer of The Year’ Award in 1971, as well as ‘Top Male Vocalist’ (also in 1971).

‘Battle of New Orleans’, which was written by James Corbitt Morris (known professionally as Jimmy Driftwood / Jimmie Driftwood) (20 June 1907 – Sunday 12 July 1998) / the original version of this track was recorded by Johnny Horton (Thursday 30 April 1925 – Saturday 5 November 1960), who included it on ‘The Spectular Johnny Horton’ (Columbia Records, 1959); Johnny Horton’s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1959, and No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1959

Obie McClinton: 'Album No.2' (Suffolk Marketing / Homegrown Products, 1986)

It was also in 1986 when Obie McClinton saw the release of ‘Album No.2’ (Suffolk Marketing / Homegrown Products, 1986), which included the following tracks:

‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’, which was written by Don Gibson (Tuesday 3 April 1928 – Monday 17 November 2003) / the original version of this track was recorded by Don Gibson, who included it on ‘Oh Lonesome Me’ (RCA Records, 1958); Don Gibson’s version of the track reached No.7 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1958, No.2 on the VG-lista Chart in Norway in 1958, and No.81 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1958

‚ÄĘ this track was also recorded by Ray Charles (Tuesday 23 September 1930 – Thursday 10 June 2004), who included it on ‘Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music’ (ABC-Paramount Records, 1962); Ray Charles’ version of the track was No.1 for five weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1962, No.1 on the Billboard R&B and Adult Contemporary Chart in 1962, No.1 for two weeks on the United Kingdom Singles Chart in July 1962, and No.1 on Kv√§llstoppen Sales Chart in Sweden in July 1962

‘Born To Lose’, which was written by Ted Daffan (Saturday 21 September 1912 – Sunday 6 October 1996) / the original version of this track was recorded by Ted Daffan, with his band, Ted Daffan’s Texans, with vocals by Leon Seago, on Friday 20 February 1942; Ted Daffan’s version was released as a double A-side single in 1943, and stayed on the Hillbilly Chart for 82 weeks

‚ÄĘ this track was also recorded by Ray Charles (Tuesday 23 September 1930 – Thursday 10 June 2004), who included it on ‘Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music’ (ABC-Paramount Records, 1962); Ray Charles’ version of the track reached No.41 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1962

‘Making Believe’, which was written by Jimmy Work (Saturday 29 March 1924 – Saturday 22 December 2018) / the original version of this track was recorded by Jimmy Work in 1955 for Dot Records; Jimmy Work’s version reached No.5 on the Billboard Country Music Jukebox Chart in 1955

‚ÄĘ this track was also recorded by Kitty Wells (Saturday 30 August 1919 – Monday 16 July 2012), who included it on ‘Kitty Wells’ Country Hit Parade’ (Decca Records, 1956); Kitty Wells’ version of the track reached No.2 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1955, a position it remained at for 18 weeks

‚ÄĘ this track was also recorded by The KendallsRoyce Kendall (Wednesday 25 September 1935 – Friday 22 May 1998) and Jeannie Kendall – who included it on ‘Heaven’s Just A Sin Away’ (Ovation Records, 1977); The Kendalls’ version of the track reached No.80 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1977

‚ÄĘ this track was also recorded by Emmylou Harris, who included it on ‘Luxury Liner’ (Warner Bros. Nashville Records, 1976); Emmylou Harris’ version of the track reached No.7 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1977, and No.1 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks Chart in 1977

‚ÄĘ this track was also recorded by Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 – Wednesday 6 April 2016) & The Strangers, who included it on ‘A Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today’ (Capitol Records, 1977); Merle Haggard & The Strangers’ version of the track received considerable airplay, and was the B-side of the single, ‘Running Kind’ (written by Merle Haggard), which reached No.12 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1977, and No.10 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks Chart in 1977

‚ÄĘ this track was also recorded by Billy Joe Royal (Friday 3 April 1942 – Tuesday 6 October 2015), who included it on ‘Making Believe’ (Brylen Records, 1982)

‚ÄĘ this track was also recorded by Loretta Lynn (Thursday 14 April 1932 – Tuesday 4 October 2022) & Conway Twitty (Friday 1 September 1933 – Saturday 5 June 1993), who included it on ‘Making Believe’ (MCA Records, 1988); this track was not a radio hit for them, but it was popular at their concerts and the album sold fairly well via television commercials

‘Cold, Cold Heart’, which was written by Herbert Paul Gilley (Tuesday 1 October 1929 – Sunday 16 June 1957) and subsequently sold to Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 – Thursday 1 January 1953 / the original version of this track was recorded by Hank Williams, and was released as a non-album single in 1951, when it was No.1 on the Country & Western Chart; the track was subsequently included on Hank Williams’ ‘Memorial Album’ (MGM Records, 1953)

‘Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You’ (written by Jerry David Akines, Johnnie Lee Bellmon, Reginald Turner and Victor Drayton) / the original version of this track was included on Obie McClinton’s ‘Obie From Senatobie’ (Enterprise Records, 1972), and reached No.37 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1972 / this track was also included on Obie McClinton’s ‘O.B.’ (Brylen Records, 1984)

‘There Goes My Everything’, which was written by Dallas Frazier¬†(Friday 27 October 1939 – Friday 14 January 2022) / the original version of this track was recorded by Jack Greene (Tuesday 7 January 1930 – Thursday 15 March 2013), who included it on ‘There Goes My Everything’ (Decca Records, 1966); Jack Greene‘s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for seven weeks in December 1966 / January 1967

‘I Can’t Help If I’m Still In Love With You’, which was written by Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 – Thursday 1 January 1953) / the original version of this track was recorded by Hank Williams, and reached No.2 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1951; the track was subsequently included on Hank Williams’ ‘Ramblin’ Man’ (MGM Records, 1955) / this track was also recorded by Gene Watson, who included it on ‘Should I Come Home‘ (MCA Records, 1979); Gene Watson‘s version of the track was also included on ‘A Tribute To Hank Williams’ (EMI Records, 1992), a various artists collection

‘King of The Road’, which was written by Roger Miller (Thursday 2 January 1936 – Sunday 25 October 1992) / the original version of this track was recorded by Roger Miller, who included it on ‘The Return of Roger Miller’ (Smash Records, 1965); Roger Miller’s version of the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1965, No.4 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music singles chart in 1965, No.1 on the Billboard Easy Listening Chart in 1965, and No.1 on the United Kingdom Singles Chart in 1965

‘Red Roses For A Blue Lady’, which was written by Sid Tepper (25 June 1918 – Friday 24 April 2015) and Roy C. Bennett (12 August 1918 – Thursday 2 July 2015)

In 1987, ‘The Chocolate Cowboy’, as Obie McClinton styled himself, was on an upward swing and had just seen the release of a new television marketed album, ‘The Only One’ (Epic Records, 1987), which Obie McClinton considered his best album.

It was in 1987 when Obie McClinton found himself back on Epic Records with a hit single on the Billboard country music singles chart, ‘Turn The Music On’ (written by Obie McClinton) (No.61, 1987), a track from his highly acclaimed ‘The Only One’ (Epic Records, 1987), which is considered by many to be his finest album release.

Obie McClinton’s ‘The Only One’ (Epic Records, 1987) also included the following tracks:

‘The Only One’ (written by Obie McClinton)
‘Love Break’ (written by Obie McClinton)
‘My E.S.P.’ (written by Obie McClinton)
‘Still A Wanted Man’ (written by Obie McClinton and J. Voupel)
‘(Country Music Is) American Soul’ (written by Obie McClinton and S. Knowles)
‘Love Is Like A Leaf In The Wind’ (written by Obie McClinton and K.K. Krowder)
‘Good Morning Love Look’ (written by Obie McClinton)
‘I Love Your Face’ (written by Obie McClinton)
‘I Won’t Let You Get Over Me’ (written by Obie McClinton)

Obie Burnett McClinton
(Thursday 25 April 1940 – Wednesday 25 September 1987)
Gravel Springs Cemetery, Tate County, Mississippi



On Wednesday 25 September 1987, following a year-long battle with abdominal cancer, Obie Burnett McClinton passed away; his death was announced on The Nashville Network’s ‘Nashville Now’ show, which was hosted by Ralph Emery (Friday 10 March 1933 – Saturday 15 January 2022).

Obie Burnett McClinton was buried in Gravel Springs Cemetery, in Tate County, Mississippi.

Obie Burnett McClinton: 'Just For You' (CBS Special Products, 1988)

In 1988, CBS released Obie Burnett McClinton’s ‘Just For You’ (CBS Special Products, 1988), which included the following tracks:

‘Back To Senatobia’
‘Table For Two’
‘Back Road Into Town’
‘Me Or Mike’
‘Takin’ A Rest’
‘Robot Man’
‘Love Connection’

‘The New York Times’ (written by Obie McClinton) / this track was also recorded by Gene Watson, who included it on ‘Memories to Burn‘ (Epic Records, 1985)

‘Which Hand Do You Take’
‘Honky Tonk Tan’ (written by Randy Hatch, Obie McClinton and Josh Whitmore)