1965 in country music

This is a list of notable events in country music that took place in 1965.

List of years in country music (table)


No datesEdit

The trend continues through the rest of the 1960s and early 1970s, with songs such as "Distant Drums" by Jim Reeves; "The Ballad of the Green Berets" by Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler; "Dear Uncle Sam" by Loretta Lynn; and others. By the late 1960s, the tone of the songs became darker, most notably the Mel Tillis-penned "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" (first a hit for Johnny Darrell, but more famously in 1969 by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition).
  • Country singer Merle Haggard marries fellow country singer and former wife of Buck Owens, Bonnie Owens, they will stay married until their divorce in 1978 but go on to be great friends and Owens will continue to tour with Haggard until her death in 2006.
  • Dolly Parton signs her first national recording contract with Monument Records. Initially pitched to the teen market as a bubblegum pop singer, she makes her first Billboard magazine chart appearance, peaking at No. 8 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart in October with a cover of The Tune Weavers' "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby." A second single, "Busy Signal", is released in December but does not reach any of the Billboard charts. Also during the year, she writes "Put It Off Until Tomorrow", recording both a solo version and backing Bill Phillips on his own version, the latter which became a hit in 1966 and would lead to her being allowed to change her style from pop to country (a reverse of what would happen a decade later, after she had become a superstar).
  • Ernest Tubb debuts his new weekly TV show, which airs in syndication through 1969, mainly in southern U.S. markets. The show features his backing band the Texas Troubadours, and regular vocalists Jack Greene and Cal Smith.

Top hits of the yearEdit

Number one hitsEdit

United StatesEdit

(as certified by Billboard)

Date Single Name Artist Wks. No.1 Spec. Note
January 23 You're the Only World I Know Sonny James 4
  • Sonny's first Number One since "Young Love" in 1957.
February 20 I've Got a Tiger By the Tail Buck Owens 5
March 27 King of the Road Roger Miller 5
May 1 This Is It Jim Reeves 3 [2]
  • Returns to Number One May 29.
May 15 Girl on the Billboard Del Reeves 2
June 5 What's He Doing in My World Eddy Arnold 2 [1]
June 19 Ribbon of Darkness Marty Robbins 1
June 26 Before You Go Buck Owens 6
August 7 The First Thing Ev'ry Morning (And the Last Thing Ev'ry Night) Jimmy Dean 2 [B]
August 21 Yes, Mr. Peters Roy Drusky with Priscilla Mitchell 2 [C]
September 4 The Bridge Washed Out Warner Mack 1 [B]
September 11 Is It Really Over? Jim Reeves 3
October 2 Only You (Can Break My Heart) Buck Owens 1
October 9 Behind the Tear Sonny James 3 [2]
  • Returns to Number One November 13.
October 23 Hello Vietnam Johnnie Wright 3 [C]
  • Originally half member of the duo Johnnie & Jack, Wright went solo following Jack's death in 1963. This song marked a feat Wright could not do with Jack, reach Number One.
  • This was one of the first country music songs to discuss the conflicts about the Vietnam War.
November 20 May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose Little Jimmy Dickens 2 [C]
December 4 Make the World Go Away Eddy Arnold 3
December 25 Buckaroo Buck Owens and the Buckaroos 2 [A] – The Buckaroos
  • 1^ No. 1 song of the year, as determined by Billboard.
  • 2^ Song dropped from No. 1 and later returned to top spot.
  • A^ First Billboard No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • B^ Last Billboard No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • C^ Only Billboard No. 1 hit for that artist to date.


(as certified by RPM)

Date Single Name Artist Wks. No.1 Spec. Note
January 18 Hitch Hikin’ Dick Damron 2 [A]
February 1 Bitty Baby Howard Sisters 3 [C]
February 22 Afraid Donn Reynolds 2 [C]
March 8 Texas Leather and Mexican Lace Bob King 8 [C]
April 26 I Wish That I Could Fall Sandy Selsie 3 [2], [C]
  • Returned to Number One on June 14.
May 10 Klondike Mike Hal Willis 3 [B]
June 7 Skip, Hop and Wobble Artie McLearen 1 [C]
June 21 Can’t Live with Him Myrna Lorrie 1 [A]
June 28 Picking Up My Hat Debbie Lori Kaye 9 [C]
August 30 Cathy Keep Playing Stu Phillips 3 [C]
September 20 My Good Life Cy Anders 3 [C]
October 18 Break the News to Liza Gary Buck 2 [A]
November 1 My Tennessee Baby Danny Harrison 3 [C]
November 22 Marjolaina Jimmy James 6 [C]
  • 2^ Song dropped from No. 1 and later returned to top spot.
  • A^ First RPM No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • B^ Last RPM No. 1 hit for that artist.
  • C^ Only RPM No. 1 hit for that artist.

Other major hitsEdit

Singles released by American artistsEdit

US Single Artist
19 Again Don Gibson
8 Artificial Rose Jimmy C. Newman
13 Back in Circulation Jimmy C. Newman
18 Because I Cared Ernest Ashworth
4 The Belles of Southern Bell Del Reeves
7 Blue Kentucky Girl Loretta Lynn
11 Bright lights and Country Music Bill Anderson
12 Certain Bill Anderson
17 Close All the Honky Tonks Charlie Walker
16 Country Guitar Phil Baugh
12 Crystal Chandelier Carl Belew
8 The DJ Cried Ernest Ashworth
11 A Dear John Letter Skeeter Davis and Bobby Bare
15 Do-Wacka-Do Roger Miller
7 Do What You Do Do Well Ned Miller
2 Engine Engine Number 9 Roger Miller
3 Four Strong Winds Bobby Bare
6 All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers Roy Drusky
10 Gonna Have Love Buck Owens
4 Green, Green Grass of Home Porter Wagoner
9 Hicktown Tennessee Ernie Ford
10 The Home You're Tearing Down Loretta Lynn
9 I Can't Remember Connie Smith
8 I Thank My Lucky Stars Eddy Arnold
8 I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water Stonewall Jackson
3 I Won't Forget You Jim Reeves
8 I Wouldn't Buy a Used Car from Him Norma Jean
2 I'll Keep Holding On (Just to Your Love) Sonny James
8 I'll Repossess My Heart Kitty Wells
19 I'm Gonna Tie One On Tonight The Wilburn Brothers
15 I'm Letting You Go Eddy Arnold
16 I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night George Jones and Gene Pitney
4 If I Talk to Him Connie Smith
16 If It Pleases You Billy Walker
4 It Ain't Me Babe Johnny Cash and June Carter
7 It's Alright Bobby Bare
5 It's Another World The Wilburn Brothers
7 Kansas City Star Roger Miller
15 Least of All George Jones
3 Livin' in a House Full of Love David Houston
6 Love Bug George Jones
8 Matamoros Billy Walker
9 Meanwhile, Down at Joe's Kitty Wells
15 Mister Garfield Johnny Cash
10 (My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers Merle Haggard
8 More Than Yesterday Slim Whitman
19 My Old Faded Rose Johnny Sea
3 Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back Billy Edd Wheeler
10 One Dyin' and a Buryin' Roger Miller
3 Orange Blossom Special Johnny Cash
2 The Other Woman (In My Life) Ray Price
15 Pass the Booze Ernest Tubb
11 Pushed in a Corner Ernest Ashworth
5 Queen of the House Jody Miller
7 See the Big Man Cry Charlie Louvin
12 She's Gone Gone Gone Lefty Frizzell
4 Sittin' in an All Nite Cafe Warner Mack
12 Six Times a Day (The Trains Come Down) Dick Curless
10 The Sons of Katie Elder Johnny Cash
16 Stop the World (And Let Me Off) Waylon Jennings
18 Sweet, Sweet Judy David Houston
2 10 Little Bottles Johnny Bond
20 That Ain't All John D. Loudermilk
4 Then and Only Then Connie Smith
9 Things Have Gone to Pieces George Jones
8 Three A.M. Bill Anderson
15 A Tiger in My Tank Jim Nesbitt
6 Tiger Woman Claude King
5 A Tombstone Every Mile Dick Curless
3 Truck Drivin' Son-of-a-Gun Dave Dudley
11 Truck Drivin' Man George Hamilton IV
15 Two Six Packs Away Dave Dudley
10 Walk Tall Faron Young
18 Walking the Floor Over You George Hamilton IV
10 Watch Were You're Going Don Gibson
13 Who Do You Think I Am Webb Pierce
8 Wild as a Wildcat Charlie Walker
14 Wine Mel Tillis
14 Wrong Number George Jones
4 Yakety Axe Chet Atkins
4 You Don't Hear Kitty Wells

Singles released by Canadian artistsEdit

US CAN Single Artist
5 Backstreets of Life Gary Buck
10 Badger Bodine Lennie Siebert
6 Big Treaty Scotty Stevenson
2 Born to Love Danny Coughlin
5 Bottoms Up Jimmy James
6 Bring on My Love Mac Wiseman
2 Cadillacin' Around Angus Walker
2 Come on in Mr. Heartache Lennie Siebert
6 Country Corn Jimmy Doyle
2 Do You Wish You Were Free Myrna Lorrie
10 Don't Lead Me On Ray Griff
2 Everybody's Looking at My Jimmy James
4 Freckles, Freckles Skip Evans
3 Girl with the Sad Lonely Look Bob King
2 Golden Rocket Dick Nolan
2 Golden Years Ray Griff
10 Heartache No. 5 Sharon Strong
3 I'll Count Every Hour Pat Hervey
2 I'm Not Sayin' Gordon Lightfoot
9 If Loving You Did This Ruthie McLean
3 Isle of Newfoundland Bert Cuff
6 Just Look Behind You Gary Buck
4 Little Tot Art Young
2 Lookin' Back to See The Canadian Sweethearts
4 Lorelei Donn Reynolds
3 The Man Lorne Greene
7 Nickel Piece of Candy Wimmen
6 Nighthawk Gary Buck
7 Nopper the Topper Hal Willis
4 Saddle Shootin' Buddy Johnny Rocker
10 Seven Days a Week Bert Cuff
2 She Taught Me How to Yodel Donn Reynolds
4 Sittin' and Thinkin' Jerry Hatton
6 Spring Rains Rita Curtis
5 Stand Upon the Mountain The Canadian Sweethearts
4 A Taste of Love Doug Hutton
7 That's the Way It Happens Sandy Selsie
6 This Old Heart Dusty King
8 Twisting the Pick Roy Penney
6 Victim of Love Jimmy James
2 What Will Tomorrow Bring Danny Coughlin
6 Weeping Willow Tree Ray Griff
7 The Wishing Well (Down in the Well) Hank Snow
6 Wrapped Around Your Finger MacKay Brothers

Top new album releasesEdit

Album Artist Record Label
Before You Go Buck Owens Capitol
Behind the Tear Sonny James Capitol
Blues in My Heart Wanda Jackson Capitol
Breakin' in Another Heart Hank Thompson Capitol
Bright Lights and Country Music Bill Anderson Decca
Chet Atkins Picks on The Beatles Chet Atkins RCA
Connie Smith Connie Smith RCA
Country Willie: His Own Songs Willie Nelson RCA
Cute 'n' Country Connie Smith RCA
Doodle oo Doo Doo Del Reeves United Artists
The Easy Way Eddy Arnold RCA
From This Pen Bill Anderson Decca
Girl on The Billboard Del Reeves United Artists
Golden Hits Roger Miller Smash
Here Comes My Baby Dottie West RCA
Hot Rod Lincoln Johnny Bond Starday
I Heard the Bluebirds Sing The Browns RCA
I Want to Live and Love Carl Smith Columbia
The Race Is On George Jones United Artists

Other Album ReleasesEdit

Album Artist Record Label
Hank Locklin Sings Eddy Arnold Hank Locklin RCA
I'll Keep Holding On Sonny James Capitol
I've Got a Tiger By the Tail Buck Owens Capitol
The Instrumental Hits of Buck Owens and His Buckaroos Buck Owens and the Buckaroos Capitol
Kisses Don't Lie Carl Smith Columbia
Luckiest Heartache in Town Hank Thompson Capitol
Many Happy Hangovers Jean Shepard Capitol
My Favorite Guitars Chet Atkins RCA
My Kind of Country Music Hank Locklin RCA
My World Eddy Arnold RCA
New Country Hits George Jones Musicor
Once Over Lightly Hank Locklin RCA Victor
Pretty Miss Norma Jean Norma Jean RCA
Sings Jim Reeves Del Reeves United Artists
Skeeter Sings Standards Skeeter Davis RCA
Ten Little Bottles Johnny Bond Starday
The Thin Man from West Plains Porter Wagoner RCA
Three Shades of Brown The Browns RCA
When Love is Gone The Browns RCA
You're the Only World I Know Sonny James Capitol
Your Favorite Country Hits Hank Snow RCA



Country Music Hall of Fame InducteesEdit

Major awardsEdit

Grammy AwardsEdit

Academy of Country MusicEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Kingsbury, Paul, "The Grand Ole Opry: History of Country Music. 70 Years of the Songs, the Stars and the Stories," Villard Books, Random House; Opryland USA, 1995
  • Kingsbury, Paul, "Vinyl Hayride: Country Music Album Covers 1947–1989," Country Music Foundation, 2003 (ISBN 0-8118-3572-3)
  • Millard, Bob, "Country Music: 70 Years of America's Favorite Music," HarperCollins, New York, 1993 (ISBN 0-06-273244-7)
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs 1944–2005 – 6th Edition." 2005.

Other linksEdit

External linksEdit