Monday’s Music Moves Me: Crossover Songs

Alana takes over as the guest conductor of Monday’s Music Moves Me, and picked a real beaut for the theme for today, crossovers. A crossover is a song or an artist who finds success with several different audiences, e.g an R&B song that’s popular with pop audiences or a Christian artist who finds success on the country chart. I’ve picked a few songs that I consider crossovers for your listening pleasure.

  1. Ray Charles, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” A song written by country singer Don Gibson, who reached #1 on the country chart with it in 1958. Ray covered it on his 1962 crossover album Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music and reached #1 on the Hot 100, R&B chart, and Adult Contemporary chart. CMT ranks Ray’s version #49 on its list of the 100 Best Country song, and Rolling Stone magazine ranks it #164 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  2. Charlie Rich, “Behind Closed Doors” The Silver Fox had several songs that crossed over to the Pop charts in the ’70’s. This one reached #1 on the Country chart, #15 on the Hot 100, and #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart. He had even better luck with his next song, “The Most Beautiful Girl,” which reached #1 on all three charts.
  3. Dolly Parton, “9 To 5” Dolly’s just amazing, a singer-songwriter whose songs have been recorded by a number of artists in a number of different genres. in the mid-’70’s, she sought to expand her appeal to pop audiences, and found success with “Here You Come Again,” reaching #3 on the Hot 100 as well as #3 on the Hot 100. Dolly wrote and recorded the theme song for the 1980 movie 9 To 5. It reached #1 on the Country, Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts in 1981. Sheena Easton had recorded a song called “Nine To Five” a couple of months before Dolly’s song, and when it crossed the Atlantic it was renamed “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” to avoid confusion.
  4. Amy Grant, “Baby Baby” Contemporary Christian Music artist Amy Grant decided to broaden her audience in the early ’90’s, and recorded the album Heart In Motion in 1991. This was the first single from that album and it reached #1 on the Hot 100.
  5. Marvin Hamlisch, “The Entertainer” This is a little different, but I’m calling it a crossover song. It was written by ragtime legend Scott Joplin in 1902. Marvin Hamlisch adapted for use in the 1973 movie The Sting and received an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and Adaptation in 1974. It became popular with both popular and classical audiences, reaching #3 on the Hot 100 and was called “the classical phenomenon of the decade” by Record World magazine.
  6. Lou Rawls, “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” Why Lou Rawls had such a hard time finding his way to Top 40 popularity is a mystery to me. He had a fantastic voice (Frank Sinatra said he had “the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing business”), won three Grammys for Best Male Vocalist in his career, and was active in charity work, but he never earned much recognition for his music until this song in 1976, which topped the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts and reached #3 on the Hot 100.
  7. Chet Atkins, “Take Five” Guitarist par excellence Chet Atkins made incredible contributions to country music, both as a performer and as director of A&R for RCA Records in Nashville, where he’s credited with developing the “Nashville Sound.” He never let his identity as a country music artist limit the the music he did, however, and here’s a prime example of that. Paul Desmond wrote the jazz standard “Take Five” for the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959 for their album Time Out, a landmark album that explored odd time signatures (e.g. &frac54;). Chet recorded it sometime in the early ’60’s.
  8. Conway Twitty and Sam Moore, “Rainy Night In Georgia” In 1994, MCA Records released the album Rhythm, Country and Blues, which paired R&B and country artists on classic songs. “Rainy Night In Georgia” was written by Tony Joe White (while he was living not far from me and working for Georgia Power) and was popularized by Brook Benton in 1970. Conway Twitty is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Rockabilly Hall of Fame, while Sam Moore, one-half of the duo Sam & Dave, is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and they have a hell of a good time recording this. Not long after this, Conway died.
  9. Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You” Dolly Parton wrote this song in 1973 as a farewell to her former singing partner Porter Wagoner. It reached #1 on the Country chart twice, once in 1974 and again in October 1982, when she re-recorded it as part of the soundtrack of the movie The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, which starred her and Burt Reynolds. In 1992, Whitney Houston recorded it as part of the soundtrack for the 1992 movie The Bodyguard, which starred her and Kevin Costner. It spent 14 weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 and is one of the best-selling singles of all time as well as being the best-selling single by a woman of all time. It found chart success again twenty years later, shortly after Ms. Houston’s death. I was surprised to learn that Dolly had written it.
  10. Kenny Rogers, “Lucille” Kenny had plenty of chart success as a member of The First Edition, and this was his first song after leaving that group in 1977. It reached #1 on the Country chart and #5 on the Hot 100. Kenny has had a lot of success on both charts since then, including duets with Dolly Parton.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 4, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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33 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Crossover Songs

    1. I chose him mostly becaudse I don’t think you can talk about crossover artists without him or Dolly Parton. I considered Amy’s duet with Peter Cetera and “Every Heartbeat”… maybe “Baby Baby” was too easy, but it’s a good song and she’s cute in the video. πŸ˜‰

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  1. John,

    I remembered all of your song choices on your playlist; some of them I knew straight off and others I needed to freshen my memory by listening to those chosen titles to tickle my ears. Chet Atkins was a stellar guitarist, wasn’t he? DH’s cousin’s wife is related to Chet. She’s something like his 3rd or 4th cousin. πŸ™‚ You did tell me something that I didn’t know about Kenny Rogers. I had no clue that he was part of a band before now. I always thought he was a solo artist. One of my high school teachers had a huge crush on him and her husband (also a teacher) reminded me a lot of Kenny Rogers because he wore a beard like him. πŸ™‚ Thanks for hitting the dance floor with the 4M gang, my friend. Have a funtastic day!!

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    1. Kenny Rogers & The First Edition’s first hit was “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” which was a psychedelic song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_FARKlJcPM Kinda blows your mind, doesn’t it?

      Chet was the guitar player’s guitar player. He could do just about anything. He was the creator of the designation “Certified Guitar Player” and named Jerry Reed, John Knowles, Steve Wariner and Tommy Emmanuel as his fellow CGP’s before he died. All those guys are excellent players. Knowles was one of the instructors at the National Guitar Workshop I attended in 2003 at MTSU in Murfreesboro, and the guy who was my instructor (a fantastic jazz guitar player) said that when he grew up he wanted to play like John Knowles. He and Chet were very close.

      I’m making the rounds today, and I’ll be sure to stop in at your place for BOTB. I took the month off to try and get back on track with comments.

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  2. You covered quite a few that didn’t even hit my radar when thinking about the theme. So many that I had just not thought about. Great post!

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  3. Dolly Parton has an amazing voice! I appreciate it more now that I’m older. I actually took notice of her voice after I saw the movie Rhinestone even though I had heard her music before. I have appreciated her singing ever since.

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    1. I have a great deal of respect for Dolly, particularly since visiting Dollywood. She revitalized that whole area in Tennessee. She’s a great singer and songwriter and a tremendous human being.

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  4. I am always surprised by how many songs Dolly wrote and that were great outside of country. I recall going into Tim Horton’s and hearing Time to Say Goodbye sung by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Boccelli. I was surprised because the music channel they had on was for soft rock so this might apply.

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    1. Andrea Bocelli has a wide appeal, so it’s not surprising they were playing his songs in Tim Horton’s (one of my favorite places to eat in Canada…).Good singers tend to be good in just about any genre.

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  5. Oh my gosh, you are sooooooooooooo right about them all… you really did some homework here my friend! Great choices. I just got back not long ago from a wedding in Indiana. We spent the night out there in Greenwood. It’s a four hour drive from our house and I’ve been trying to play catch up with everyone. Plus I tried to get my Post to post for this morning, but I must have did something wrong. 😦 So, I’m up and running now. YOU ROCKED THE HOUSE MY FRIEND, but I have to push on…. BIG HUGS

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  6. Great selection of crossover songs. Lou Rawls had a fantastic voice and Conway Twiddy came out with some good music. And Kenny Rogers was a major crossover, IMO. A more current crossover is Taylor Swift.

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    1. A lot of the other MMMM participants pointed that out about Taylor. I don’t know much about her, other than she’s a good singer and quite attractive in an adolescent sort of way.

      Kenny and Dolly are two that you just can’t avoid talking about with the crossovers. You look up “crossover” in the dictionary and their pictures are there…

      I was talking to a friend of mine about Lou Rawls, and he said a lot of Lou’s songs didn’t cross over because Top 40 stations thought they were a little too militant. That shouldn’t have been any reason to keep him off the playlist, particularly in Chicago, his hometown. I mean, there were plenty of other stations that were playing his songs, and we were all familiar with him and his songs. But, you know, that was radio in the ’60’s…

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  7. Wow, wow, wow…. You just made my morning John! This is an excellent playlist. Kicking it off with Ray Charles set the tone for a string of incredible songs that just made my heart sing, truly.
    Charlie Rich! I haven’t heard Charlie Rich in so long. “Behind Closed Doors” and his other hit from that year “The Most Beautiful Girl” I remember fondly. My folks had that album and I heard those songs over and over. Now that was good music! I read that he had a sudden and unexpected death and apparently died in his sleep from a pulmonary embolism in a hotel room while traveling with his wife after seeing their son perform with Freddie Fender.

    Re: Amy Grant: another one I hadn’t thought of in ages. I didn’t realize she started out as a Christian artist.
    Hearing “The Entertainer” sure brought a rush of memories: I used to take organ lessons in my pre-teen years and that was one of the songs I used to play. I think I can still pick out the chorus. I’ll have to try it next time I go to my Mom’s apartment. She has an organ and plays beautifully. She can’t read music; she plays by ear and can hear a song and go right to the organ and pick it out. After a few minutes, she’s playing the whole song like she’s been playing it for years. I love to hear her play.

    Lou Rawls, another great. He has a wonderful voice. I didn’t realize he had such a hard time making it into the Top 40. That is indeed a mystery.
    I don’t know much about Chet Atkins although I’m familiar with his name. I enjoyed his pickin’ in “Take Five”.

    I’ve never been a huge fan of Whitney Houston per se. No particular reason, I just think I wasn’t paying much attention to her music. But I do so love her amazing “I Will Always Love You.” Hearing that again and seeing some of the Bodyguard snippets makes me want to see that movie again. I just may search it out this weekend…

    You can’t ever go wrong with Kenny Rogers. I liked that music video setting. This was the first time that I ever took the time to listen to the lyrics of the song and hear the story. We both used Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in our playlists. I love the two of them together. I was lucky to see Dolly perform at an Austin AquaFest concert back in the 90s. She wsa amazing. What a gifted performer. And she adores her fans! She has a special way of interacting with them at her shows. I wish I had stuck around to see her whole show but hers was just one of a number of stages that night and I was making the rounds. If I could go back I’d sure stick around for the duration of her show. That’s a regret I have but I’m just thankful that I got to see a small part of her show that night.

    Of all those great songs that you presented here, by far the best, for me, was the pairing of Conway Twitty and Sam Moore. “Rainy Night in Georgia” is an awesome song as it is but hearing the two of them do it was incredible. Conway’s deep voice mixed with Sam’s vocal styling is a real treat. Even better was being able to see them both in action, really enjoying working together. They had great chemistry on this song. I loved seeing Conway and Sam laughing. I always get a kick out of seeing people have fun together and these two definitely did. This song was the cherry on top of this playlist. Loved it! And I’ll definitely be back around to give it all another listen…

    Have a great week John.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. That whole “Rhythm, Country & Blues” album is amazing. If you liked Sam and Conway together, find the rest of the album. Rock & roll took a lot from both kinds of music, and it’s amazing how well they sound together.

      Dolly Parton is a fantastic singer and songwriter and an even better person. ‘Nuff said. To me, country music is artists like Dolly, Kenny Rogers, Conway Twitty, and all the folks that ever played on “Hee Haw.”

      Lou Rawls deserved better. I think that was just a bad job of marketing.

      Glad you enjoyed the set!

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    1. Good music is good music, no matter who does it. “Crossover” is an artificial designation created by the people who create the charts to explain why a song shows up on more than one of them.

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  8. I knew you would come through with an amazing list, John. The Conway Twitty/Sam Moore pairing on Rainy Night in Georgia beat out the Brooks Benton version I am used to. Dolly Parton? Well, of course. I didn’t know about the history of The Entertainer. Yes, it’s a crossover. Perhaps the most original one of any I’ve seen posted (except for Freddy Mercury doing opera, which I saw on a couple of postings.

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