“Sweet Caroline” – Neil Diamond. Peaked at #4 the week of August 16, 1969
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” – John Denver. Peaked at #2 the week of August 28, 1971
“Smoky Mountain Rain” – Ronnie Milsap. Peaked at #24 for two weeks in February/March of 1981
A different kind of RFTS post today. Rather than breaking down a song (or songs) and its place on the Billboard chart, this is a story about one of my kids with a pop music connection.
Sunday M and I were eating breakfast before she left to go to work. In the background was an AT40 from 1981. While we ate our French toast, we heard Ronnie Milsap’s “Smoky Mountain Rain,” which, as I’ve shared before, is a jam.
I noticed a look on M’s face and was wondering if she would comment. There is pretty much zero country music ever played in our house, and while “Smoky Mountain Rain” fits into the country-pop sound that often hit the charts in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, it still stands out as a country track compared to what we usually listen to.
Finally she said, “This reminds me of “Country Roads.”
I chuckled a little and said, “How do you know ‘Country Roads?’”
“We sang it at CYO camp,” she responded.
I nodded, made sense.
After waiting a beat she continued, “It’s also one of those basic white people songs that everyone knows. You know, like ‘Sweet Caroline?’”
I about choked on my food as I laughed.
As my friend Stacey B said, she’s not wrong.