Deep Cuts From 1971: ‘ Empty Arms’ Sonny James. I thought in this feature I’d hit upon some of the #1 hits from 1971 on the Country Charts. Sonny James is a curiosity to me. You never hear his name anymore- but looking over his chart success from the late 50’s to early 70’s its kind of mind boggling that he had 26 #1 country hits including a record setting 16 singles in a row that went to #1. Born James Hugh Loden but known as Sonny James- ‘The Southern Gentleman.” His streak of 16 singles in a row at #1 ran from 1966 to 1971. He had 3 #1’s in 1971 with ‘Empty Arms’ being the first. ‘Empty Arms’ was written and first recorded by Ivory Joe Hunter and became and R&B hit in 1957. The James version stayed at #1 for 4 weeks on the country singles chart. I am no expert on Sonny James- but from the music of his I have heard he seems from the easy listening/ country music school- which is probably what he is largely forgotten today.