After their initial country singles chart entry in 1965, the Statler Brothers had to wait 13 years for their first No. 1, with ‘Do You Know You Are My Sunshine.’ But then, their already impressive songbook of major hits expanded no end, with 16 more top ten singles, including two more chart-toppers, before the historic date of 30 November 1985. That’s when the group from Staunton, Virginia climbed to the top of the country countdown for the fourth and last time, with ‘Too Much On My Heart.’
The Statlers had released the album Pardners In Rhyme in the spring of 1985, and launched it with a remake of Ricky Nelson‘s pop staple ‘Hello Mary Lou.’ That became a top three country hit, and by October the album had become their first and only LP to reach No. 1.
‘Too Much On My Heart’ was written by Jimmy Fortune, the musician from Virginia who had joined the line-up of the Statler Brothers in the early 1980s to replace Lew DeWitt. Fortune’s form as a songwriter was already inarguable, as he had penned the Statlers’ second and third country chart-toppers, ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘My Only Love.’ Just eight months after the latter reached the summit, ‘Too Much’ became the group’s second No. 1 of 1985.
The Statlers continued to have major country hits until the end of the 1980s and album chart entries until 1991. Fortune released his latest solo album Hits & Hymns in October 2015, featuring collaborations with Vince Gill, the Oak Ridge Boys, Ricky Skaggs and others — and it includes a new version of ‘Too Much On My Heart.’
Purchase ‘Too Much On My Heart’ on the Statler Brothers’ Definitive Collection: MCA Years here.