Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I seem to remember a male country music artist having a hit recording of "Sweet Dreams (Of You)" years before Patsy Cline's version. Even though most of my family and friends are country music fans, none can recall anyone other than Patsy Cline making this song popular. Did anyone have a hit record of this song before Patsy did?
—Donna York, Lexington, Ky.

DEAR DONNA: Your memory rings true. In mid-1956, "Sweet Dreams" reached No. 2 on Billboard's country chart by Faron Young (Capitol 3443). About six months later, Don Gibson — the writer of this classic tune — became the second country artist with a Top 10 hit of his song (MGM 12194). That record peaked at No. 9.

In 1960, and now an RCA Victor artist, Don Gibson recorded a new "Sweet Dreams" (RCA Victor 47-7805). This version reached No. 6 and far outsold his MGM disc.

Next came Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams (Of You)" (Decca 31483), issued a few weeks after her death in a March 5, 1963 plane crash. Her recording topped out at No. 5.

The most popular version ever is by Emmylou Harris. Her 1976 waxing of "Sweet Dreams" (Reprise 1371) is the only version to reach No. 1, and, even though she had another six No. 1s, "Sweet Dreams" remains the biggest hit of her career.

Other country artists who charted with "Sweet Dreams" are Troy Seals (1976), and Reba McEntire (1979). The top pop version was by Tommy McLain, and he peaked at No. 15 in 1966.

Sweet dreams everyone.

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