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You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

"You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" — also known simply as "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" — is a song written by Jim Weatherly, and produced by Don Law. It was first recorded in 1973 by Ray Price from his album You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me. The song enjoyed two runs of popularity, each by an artist in a different genre.

"You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me"
Single by Ray Price
from the album You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me
B-side"What Kind of Love is This"
ReleasedJuly 1973 (U.S.)
Format7"
Recordedca. May 1973
GenreCountry
Length3:50
LabelColumbia 45889
Songwriter(s)Jim Weatherly
Producer(s)Don Law
Ray Price singles chronology
"She's Got to Be a Saint"
(1972)
"You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me"
(1973)
"Storms of Troubled Times"
(1974)
"Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me"
Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me - Gladys Knight & the Pips.jpg
Single by Gladys Knight & the Pips
from the album Imagination
B-side"Once in a Lifetime Thing"
ReleasedFebruary 1974 (U.S.)
Format7"
Recorded1973
Genre
Length3:44
LabelBuddah Records 403
Songwriter(s)Jim Weatherly
Producer(s)Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise; Gladys Knight and the Pips were co-producers
Gladys Knight & the Pips singles chronology
"I've Got to Use My Imagination"
(1973)
"Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me"
(1974)
"On and On"
(1974)

Weatherly told Tom Roland in The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits that he wrote the song in 1971 and let his father-in-law first record it as a Christmas present for the latter's wife. "I thought it was really strange that nobody'd written a song with that title — possibly somebody had, but I'd never heard it — so I just sat down and let this stream of consciousness happen. I basically wrote it in a very short period of time, probably 30 minutes or an hour."[1]

The versionsEdit

Ray Price country versionEdit

The song's first run of popularity, as "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," came in 1973, when country music singer Ray Price took the song to number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart on October 6, 1973.

For that version, it represented a last and a first. The "last" was Price's seventh and most recent No. 1 single, in a string dating back to his 1956 hit "Crazy Arms." The "first": It was the No. 1 single on the debut program of American Country Countdown, which used the Billboard chart in its programming. Although it fell short of the top 40 in his native United States, the song was an easy listening hit in Canada, his third such hit there.

Gladys Knight & the Pips pop/R&B versionEdit

In the early- to mid-1970s, Gladys Knight & the Pips recorded several of Weatherly's songs, and in 1974, they dipped into his catalog once again with their rendition of the song. Their version, titled "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 that spring and topped the Hot Soul Singles for two weeks.[2] The single was certified gold by the RIAA for sales of one million copies. It also reached the top 10 in the United Kingdom.

James Cleveland gospel versionEdit

In 1975, legendary gospel singer Rev. James Cleveland & The Charles Fold Singers recorded a live version of the song, which was cited (in the song) as an adaptation of the Gladys Knight & The Pips version of the song.

Chart historyEdit

The Persuaders R&B versionEdit

In 1974, The Persuaders also recorded a version, taken from their album of the same name[10][11][12] Their version was quieter, less brassy, and more introspective than The Pips' version[13] The song reached number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[14]

Dean Martin pop versionEdit

The song was also recorded by Dean Martin in 1973.

Andy Williams versionEdit

Andy Williams released a version in 1974 on his album, The Way We Were.

Steve Lawrence versionEdit

Steve Lawrence released a version in 1973 under MGM Records label.

Chart performanceEdit

Ray Price versionEdit

Chart (1973) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles[15] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 82
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 2
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 37

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Roland, Tom, "The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits" (Billboard Books, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1991 (ISBN 0-82-307553-2), p. 99.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 330.
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Library and Archives Canada. RPM Weekly (archived). May 11, 1974. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  6. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, April 27, 1974". Archived from the original on February 21, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (July 13, 2017). "Image : RPM Weekly".
  8. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  9. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 28, 1974". Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  10. ^ "The Persuaders - Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  11. ^ Jim Weatherly. "The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me - The Persuaders | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  12. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me The Persuaders". YouTube. 2013-11-17. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  14. ^ "Hot 100 - Billboard". Billboard. March 30, 1974. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 275.

External linksEdit