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Queen of Hearts (Hank DeVito song)

Queen of Hearts is a country-pop song written by Hank DeVito, the pedal steel guitarist in Emmylou Harris' backing group The Hot Band, and was first recorded by Dave Edmunds on his 1979 album Repeat When Necessary. It was released as a single and reached No. 11 in the UK and No. 12 in Ireland that year, but failed to chart substantially elsewhere in the world. The most-famous version of the song was recorded by Juice Newton in 1981 - her version reached the Top 10 in the United States, Canada, Australia, Denmark, South Africa, and New Zealand.

"Queen of Hearts"
Juice Newton - Queen of Hearts (single).jpg
Single by Juice Newton
from the album Juice
B-side"River of Love"
ReleasedJune 8, 1981
GenreCountry pop, country rock
Songwriter(s)Hank DeVito
Producer(s)Richard Landis
Juice Newton singles chronology
"Angel of the Morning"
"Queen of Hearts"
"The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)"
Alternative cover
Artwork of the Netherlands 7" release of Queen of Hearts
Artwork of the Netherlands 7" release of Queen of Hearts

Juice NewtonEdit

Following an appearance on the 1980 Rodney Crowell album But What Will the Neighbors Think, on which composer DeVito played guitar, "Queen of Hearts" had its highest-profile incarnation in a version by country-rock singer Juice Newton from the 1981 album Juice. Newton would later recall: "I did ['Queen of Hearts'] live for about a year...Then I brought it to [producer] Richard Landis when we started the Juice album. He wasn’t convinced at that point that it was a breakout song but I told him I think this is a real cool song … so we cut it."[1] Newton's own favorite cut on the Juice album,[2] "Queen of Hearts" was issued as the album's second single and would reach No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in September 1981, behind "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. While still at No. 2, "Queen of Hearts" was certified Gold for domestic sales of one million units.

"Queen of Hearts" also gave Newton her second huge international hit, with Top Ten chart positions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and Switzerland - and more moderate success in Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands. Her recording of the song earned Newton a 1982 Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocalist, Country and Western category, "Queen of Hearts" having been a No. 14 country hit.[3] In June 2014, Newton's version of the song was ranked No. 92 by Rolling Stone on its list of the 100 greatest country songs of all time.[4]

Newton re-recorded "Queen of Hearts" for her 1998 album The Trouble With Angels. In 1997, a live version by Dave Edmunds was released on his compilation album Rockin' .

Juice Newton's first version of the song is featured in Oliver Stone's 1986 film Salvador and the 1997 film Boogie Nights, as well as in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in which it plays on the fictional radio station K-Rose. It also appears as source music in the first episode of The Americans, a 2013 television series set during the first Reagan administration. The song is also featured in the 1998 King of the Hill episode Hank's Dirty Laundry and the 2017 South Park episode "Splatty Tomato".

Chart performance (Juice Newton version)Edit

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1981) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 8
Austria [6] 13
Belgium [7] 18
Canadian RPM Top Singles 8
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 6
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 3
Denmark [8] 6
Germany [9] 39
New Zealand (RIANZ)[10] 7
Netherlands [11] 27
South Africa (Springbok)[12] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 2
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[14] 14
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[13] 2
US Cash Box Top 100[15] 2

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1981) Rank
Australia [5] 63
Canada RPM Top Singles[16] 52
US Billboard Hot 100 [17] 14
US Cash Box Top 100[18] 7


In 1982, Austrian artist Nickerbocker (de) released the German rendering "Puppe (du bist a moderne Hex')" ("Doll (You're A Modern Witch)") which reached #3 in Austria.[19](source in German)


  1. ^ White, Robert 'Bo' (September 15, 2011). "Juice Newton: The Queen of Hearts Revealed". Archived from the original on September 20, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ The Baltimore Sun June 24 1982
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 104.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  13. ^ a b Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 258.
  14. ^ "Juice Newton Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  15. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, September 26, 1981
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1981/Top 100 Songs of 1981". Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  18. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1981". Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  19. ^ "Chart-Informationen Puppe (Du bist a moderne Hex')". Retrieved 2017-12-17.

External linksEdit