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John Wesley Ryles (born December 2, 1950) is an American country music artist. Ryles recorded a string of hit country songs, beginning in 1968 when he was still a teenager, and continuing through the 1980s. He no longer records as a headline artist but remains active in the music industry as a session musician.

John Wesley Ryles
John Wesley Ryles.png
John Wesley Ryles in 1970
Background information
Also known asJohn Wesley Ryles I
Born (1950-12-02) December 2, 1950 (age 68)[1]
OriginBastrop, Louisiana, U.S.
Session musician
Years active1968–1971, 1976–present
LabelsColumbia, RCA, Plantation, Music Mill, ABC/Dot, MCA, Primero, 16th Avenue, Warner Bros.



At age 17, he made his debut in 1968 with the single "Kay", a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles (now Hot Country Songs) charts, and the title track to his debut album for Columbia Records.[2]

Ryles later recorded one album, Reconsider Me, for the Plantation label, which produced a No. 39 single in its title track. It was followed by two non-album singles, "Tell It Like It Is" and "When a Man Loves a Woman," both on the Music Mill label in 1976.[2]

He then moved to Dot Records. His first single on ABC/Dot, "Fool", Made it to #18 on the Hot Country chart followed by his highest-peaking single, the #5 "Once in a Lifetime Thing."[1] When that label merged with MCA Records, he issued the album Let the Night Begin there. The first single, "Liberated Woman" climbed to #14 on the Billboard Hot Country chart. It was followed by a rendition of "Always on My Mind, which went to #20 on the Billboard Hot Country chart.."[2] The last song released from this album, "Perfect Strangers", reached #24 on the Billboard chart.

Two more singles followed on the Primero label: "We've Got to Start Meeting Like This" and "Just Once," followed by "She Took It Too Well" on 16th Avenue Records in 1984.[2] The last label for which he recorded was Warner Bros. Records between 1987 and 1988. Although he reached Top 20 with "Louisiana Rain" during his stay on Warner, he did not release an album for the label.[2]

Since the release of his last single in 1988, Ryles has served primarily as a background vocalist.



Year Album Chart Positions Label
US Country
1969 Kay 22 Columbia
1971 Reconsider Me Plantation
1977 John Wesley Ryles 39 ABC/Dot
1978 Shine on Me ABC
Love's Sweet Pain
1979 Let the Night Begin MCA


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country
CAN Country AU
1968 "Kay"A, B 9 6 38 Kay
1969 "Heaven Below"B 55
1970 "The Weakest Kind of Man"B 57
"I've Just Been Wasting My Time"B 17 6
1971 "Reconsider Me"B 39 Reconsider Me
1976 "Tell It Like It Is" 83 John Wesley Ryles
"When a Man Loves a Woman" 72
1977 "Fool" 18
"Once in a Lifetime Thing" 5 9
1978 "Shine on Me (The Sun Still Shines When It Rains)" 13 14 Shine on Me
"Easy" 63 single only
"Kay" (re-release) 50 55 Shine on Me
"Someday You Will" 45 Love's Sweet Pain
1979 "Love Ain't Made for Fools" 33 40
"Liberated Woman" 14 17 Let the Night Begin
"You Are Always on My Mind" 20 24
1980 "Perfect Strangers" 24
"May I Borrow Some Sugar from You" 52 singles only
"Cheater's Trap" 54
1981 "Somewhere to Come When It Rains" 80
"Mathilda" 78
1982 "We've Got to Start Meeting Like This" 76
"Just Once" 80
1984 "She Took It Too Well" 78
1987 "Midnight Blue" 36
"Louisiana Rain" 20
1988 "Nobody Knows" 53
  • APeaked at No. 83 on Billboard Hot 100 and No. 88 on RPM Top Singles.
  • BCredited to John Wesley Ryles I.


  1. ^ a b Brennan, Sandra. "John Wesley Ryles biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 367. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.