1980 Mickey Gilley – Stand by Me
Mickey Gilley grew up in a small town in Mississippi. His cousin Jerry Lee Lewis lived just across the river in Louisiana, and the two often played together with another cousin, Jimmy Swaggart. Jerry Lee taught Mickey his style of playing the piano. After the success of Jerry Lee’s early music on Sun Records, Mickey also began work on a career in music.
Mickey began appearing in clubs and recorded Room Full Of Roses, a song written by Tim Spencer of the Sons of the Pioneers. Astro Records released the single in 1974 with national distribution on Playboy Records. The record reached the top of the Country chart and Playboy Records signed Mickey to a long-term recording contract.
Mickey’s single also reached #50 on the Hot 100. Three more of Mickey’s singles later reached the Hot 100. All of them simply covered earlier pop hits, but two of them did not become successful enough to reach the top forty on the Hot 100.
In 1978, the owners sold Playboy Records to Epic Records, and Mickey moved to that label. He then made an effort to record pop-Country records similar to records other Country artists had recorded that were crossing over to the pop charts.
Mickey’s cover of the Ben E. King would classic Stand By Me appeared on the soundtrack of the 1980 film Urban Cowboy, and that broke him into the top forty on the pop charts. In 1980, the single easily topped the Country chart. It also reached #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #22 on the Hot 100 in 1980.
The single was the second of six consecutive number one records on the Country chart (a single that broke the streak only reached #3). By 1983, another four singles topped the Country chart. Over a half-dozen more singles reached the top ten before the hits ran out in 1989.
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