Jean Shepard was among the few women in country music who achieved great success and fame in the mid-20th century. She won many fans with her honky-tonk vocals. The songs that she sung mostly dealt with the pain and pleasures of love. Shepard rose to greater heights from the West Coast.
She was also one of the first women in the country music genre to front her own tours. This helped pave the way for other women country artists, such as Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn. She was also the longest serving female member of the Grand Ole Opry. Many of her country songs were chartbusters. Here we’ve listed some of the immensely successful ones:
1. A Dear John Letter
Jean Shepard had sung this crossover country-pop song with Ferlin Husky. This popular song was written by Fuzzy Owen, Billy Barton, and Lewis Talley. It had references of the involvement of the United States in the Korean War. The song narrates the tale of a young woman whose boyfriend is serving in the Korean War.
In the song, she writes to him saying that she is breaking off their relationship. What’s more heartbreaking is that she is marrying his brother, Don, and wants her photograph back. Released in 1953, this song was a huge success and topped the Billboard’s country charts.
2. I Thought Of You
This song had made it to the Billboard Most Played Country and Western in Juke Boxes chart in 1955. The popular song sung by Shepard was composed by Jimmy Rollins, a musician and record producer from Dallas. He copyrighted the song in 1955 and had it renewed in 1983.
The song was released on the B-side of Shepard’s single, Beautiful Lies. Connie Smith, a famous country music singer, recorded this song on her album Cute ‘n’ Country in 1965.
3. Many Happy Hangovers To You
This single was originally recorded by Shepard and released in January, 1966. It was written by Johnny MacRae, who was nicknamed ‘Dog’. He has been credited with 235 songs, which were released by many recording artists. Besides writing songs, MacRae had also fronted a rockabilly band.
Many Happy Hangovers to You had reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles after its release. This song is considered by many country music fans as one of the best singles of Jean Shepard.
4. If Teardrops Were Silver
This is a 1966 hit country music single by Shepard. It was released as a part of the album Heart, We Did All We Could. Upon its release, this song had reached the 10th position on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
5. Then He Touched Me
Released in December, 1969, Then He Touched Me was the first single for the album A Woman’s Hand. Upon its release, the song reached the 8th position on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It had also made it to the Canadian RPM Country Singles chart on the 27th position.
6. Slippin’ Away
In 1973, Slippin’ Away had reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It was Shepard’s first single after signing with United Artists. Written by singer and songwriter Bill Anderson, it is a mid-tempoed song in the country music sub-genre, Bakersfield. The song was the biggest hit of Shepard since her 1964 hit, Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar)’.