Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Now that Blake Shelton, with “Over,” and his wife Miranda Lambert, with “Fastest Girl in Town,” are both on the Billboard singles chart, a new question has arisen.

How common is it to find both husband and wife on either the pop or country charts at the same time? I doubt Blake and Miranda are the first.

After an exhaustive online search, I can tell you this information does not exist. I think you're on your own.

Even less likely would be three different hits at the same time, one by each person and a third with them together. Has that ever happened?
—Pauline Huntington, Bloomington, Ind.

DEAR PAULINE: Once again, necessity proves to be the mother of invention. If it doesn't exist, we'll build it.

Beginning with the STC (Spousal Trifecta Challenge), a review of about a hundred years of popular music turned up five months during which the husband and the wife each had a solo hit, and another one as a duo.

Chronologically, they are:
Feb. 1939: Mildred Bailey (“Blame It on My Last Affair”) - Red Norvo (“I Get Along Without You Very Well”) - Mildred & Red (“I Go for That”)
Aug. 1965: Sonny (“Laugh at Me”) - Cher (“All I Really Want to Do”) - Sonny & Cher (“Baby Don't Go”)
Feb. 1972: George Jones (“We Can Make It”) - Tammy Wynette (“Til I Get It Right”) - George Jones & Tammy Wynette (“Take Me”)
Sept. 1979: Louise Mandrell (“I Never Loved Anyone Like I Love You”) - R.C. Bannon (“Winners and Losers”) - Louise Mandrell & R.C. Bannon (“Reunited”)
May 1998: Faith Hill (“This Kiss”) - Tim McGraw (“One of These Days”) - Faith Hill & Tim McGraw (“Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me”)

Slightly more common are spouses with simultaneous solo hits, as in the Blake-Lambert example. Besides the above five, here are 16 more:
Feb. 1959: Carl Smith (“The Best Years of Your Life”) - Goldie Hill (“Yankee, Go Home”)
Oct. 1961: Skeeter Davis (“Optimistic”) - Ralph Emery (“Hello Fool”)
Jan. 1963: Steve Lawrence (“Go Away Little Girl”) - Eydie Gorme (“Blame It on the Bossa Nova”)
Aug. 1965: Johnny Wright (“Hello Vietnam”) - Kitty Wells (“Meanwhile, Down at Joe's”)
Sept. 1965: Merle Haggard (“I'm Gonna Break Every Heart I Can”) - Bonnie Owens (“Number One Heel”)
May 1967: Andy Williams (“Music to Watch Girls By”) - Claudine Longet (“Hello Hello”)
April 1971: Johnny Cash “Man in Black”) - June Carter Cash (“A Good Man”)
Dec. 1972: James Taylor (“Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight”) - Carly Simon (“You're So Vain”)
April 1973: Kris Kristofferson (“Why Me”) - Rita Coolidge (“Whiskey, Whiskey”)
Nov. 1974: Barry White (“You're the First, the Last, My Everything”) - Glodean James (of Love Unlimited) (“I Belong to You”)
Sept. 1975: Waylon Jennings (“Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way”) - Jessi Colter (“What's Happened to Blue Eyes”)
Jan. 1981: John Lennon (“Woman”) - Yoko Ono (“Walking on Thin Ice”)
Oct. 1981: Rosanne Cash (“My Baby Thinks He's a Train”) - Rodney Crowell (“Stars on the Water”)
Dec. 1982: Ricky Skaggs (“I Wouldn't Change You if I Could”) - Sharon White (of the Whites) (“Hangin' Around”)
July 1994: Trisha Yearwood (“XXX's and OOO's [An American Girl])” - Robert Reynolds (of the Mavericks) (“O What a Thrill”)
Sept. 2006: Jessica Simpson (“A Public Affair”) - Nick Lachey (“I Can't Hate You Anymore”)

If others are discovered, we will add them to the list for future music and marital scholars.

IZ ZAT SO? In only one of our spousal trifecta entries did all three records make the Top 10, but not at the same time:

No. 1: Faith Hill (“This Kiss”) - No. 2: Tim McGraw (“One of These Days”) - No. 3: Faith Hill & Tim McGraw (“Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me”)

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