Billboard #1 Hits: #207: ” Harper Valley P.T.A.- Jeannie C. Riley. September 21, 1968. #1 for 1 week.

  • Single: “Harper Valley P.T.A.”- Jeannie C. Riley
  • Record Company- Plantation Records
  • Genre: Country
  • Written by Tom T. Hall
  • Time: 3:16
  • B-side: “Yesterday All Day Long Today
  • Album-Harper Valley P.T.A.
  • Grade: A+
  • Peaked at #1 on Billboard Hot 100 1 week. #1 on US Country singles chart. #12 in UK Singles Chart, #1 in Australia and Canada.

When I was a little Hans- this song always reminded me of “Ode To Billie Joe” and I guess there was a reason. Singer Margie Singleton went to singer-songwriter Tom T. Hall and asked him to write a song an “Ode To Billie Joe” style song. Tom T. wrote it- and offered it to Skeeter Davis who rejected it-[bad career choice } Billie Jo Spears and Margie Singleton both recorded it but it was Jeannie C. Riley who had the life changing hit with it. “Harper Valley P.T.A’ went to #1 on both the pop and country charts- Riley was the first female artist to accomplish that- a decade later Dolly Parton did with “9 To 5.” Jeannie C. Riley would win a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Harper Valley P.T.A.” Jeannie C. Riley had been working as a secretary for Passkey Music when Mercury records producer Shelby Singleton received a demo of Riley’s voice. He was starting a record label- Plantation Records- and he worked with Riley on this song which he thought had potential. Turns out he was correct. Jeannie C. Riley went on to have a number of country singles become hits- but this was her one and only Top 40 hit on the Billboard Pop chart.

12 responses to “BILLBOARD #1 HITS: #207: “HARPER VALLEY P.T.A.”-JEANNIE C. RILEY – SEPTEMBER 21, 1968

  1. I love love love this song. I know she produced a follow-up version to this song, which in my view totally ruined it. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak up. It was definitely the time for the woman in the song to speak up. The sort of narrow-minded, judgemental hypocrits in the song do so much harm. As for Ode to Billy Joe- one of my favourite songs ever. I have looked up interviews with Bobbi Gentry online and although she denies it is about a specific incident- to me it has to be.
    Confronting hypocrisy is kind of my thing I think, so Harper Valley PTA is very near to my heart.

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