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March 31

Why today? Kathy Mattea’s first Top 5 hit, a cover of a Nanci Griffith song, was released on this date in 1986.

About the record: Mercury 884573-7, recorded late 1985 in Nashville. Released March 31, 1986. Reached No. 3 on Billboard‘s country chart. Also appeared on Walk The Way The Wind Blows, Mercury 830405, released 1986. It reached No. 13 on Billboard‘s country album chart.

“This beautifully crafted song tells the love story of two ordinary people whose love survives the trials, the sorrows, the tragedies and the ups and downs that life throws at us.” That description, by British folk duo “jiva” on their Web site, sums it up pretty well. Mattea’s version was one of four Top 10s on her breakthough Walk The Way The Wind Blows album.

About the artist: Mattea did mighty well for herself back in the mid-’80s through the early ’90s. Her music was steeped in folk and bluegrass elements, but it was quite commercial. I remember a great talk-show special in 1992, hosted by Burt Reynolds from the stage of the Ryman Auditorium and featuring four of the top female country stars of the time: Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker, Lorrie Morgan and Kathy Mattea. She was coming off the emotionally powerful “Where’ve You Been,” and she more than held her own with her more established colleagues and with Reynolds. Check out her career story on Allmusic.com.

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