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Nov. 5: This is the 1966 record that put Billy Sherrill on the map in Nashville as a producer and songwriter, and began a white-hot three years in the career of Louisiana-born David Houston.

Sherrill and his business partner Glenn Sutton wrote “Almost Persuaded,” the story of a married man’s struggle to resist a temptress he met in a tavern. Sherrill produced the track for Epic, where as a staff producer he developed the wildly successful countrypolitan version of the Wall of Sound, helped guide Tammy Wynette into superstardom and brought major success to the well-traveled George Jones and the eclectic Charlie Rich. He also wrote several signature numbers in the great country songbook and produced scads of top artists in the Columbia/Epic/CBS Nashville stable. So why isn’t he in the Country Music Hall of Fame? Read more about him on Allmusic.com and at the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, as you wish him a happy 73rd birthday.

Perhaps you’ve heard someone else’s version of the song — it’s been covered by the likes of Etta James, Merle Haggard, Louis Armstrong, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Hank Williams Jr., Patti Page, Bill Haley & His Comets (?!) and many others. But this was the first, winning the 1967 Grammy for best country record and propelling David Houston to victory in the competition for the best male country performance Grammy.

For Houston, “Almost Persuaded” was the first of seven Billboard No. 1 records from 1966 to 1969, and one of 16 to make the Top 5 in his career. He died in 1993. Learn more about him here.

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