Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Make My Day" by T.G. Sheppard with Clint Eastwood

Song#:  1795
Date:  02/18/1984
Debut:  88
Peak:  62
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Country, Novelty

Pop Bits:  Sheppard had a streak of eight Country #1's in a row that included the #58 Pop crossover "Finally." The streak ended when his remake of the 1971 Nilsson hit "Without You" stopped at #12, but he got right back to the top spot when the title track from his album Slow Burn was issued as the album's first single. For that song's follow-up, this novelty song got released. The tune was based around the popular catchphrase uttered by Clint Eastwood in the fourth Dirty Harry film, Sudden Impact. The movie was the highest grossing in the series and the "go ahead, make my day" line was quoted everywhere. Even then President Ronald Reagan used it in a speech on taxation. So why not turn it into a song? Sheppard was on board with it as was Eastwood, who appears on the song quoting his character's famous line and others from the film series. The event single petered out before getting into the Country Top 10 (#12), but it got enough attention to crossover on to the Pop chart for a few weeks. In doing so, it became Sheppard's last single to reach that chart. Sheppard would remain successful on the Country chart for the balance of the decade grabbing nine more Top 10's including a final #1.

ReduxReview:  Ugh. I could have totally done without this. I remember when this song came out. I thought it was stupid at the time and I don't feel much different today. It's a jump-on-a-fad thing that got old real quick. It gets an extra point for having Eastwood actually appear on the song (whoever talked him into this should sell used cars...), but one listen was more than enough for me. What I think kind of sucks is that the person who wrote the line, screenwriter Charles B. Pierce, doesn't get any credit. I can only assume that there had to have been some payment made to him and/or the movie company for use of the phrase, but perhaps not. Regardless, the guy got no credit on the single and really should have. The tune itself is okay and not too far out of line from some other country honky-tonk singles from the period, but it is mediocre at best and adding Eastwood doesn't help. What makes my day is that after this, I'll never have to hear this song again.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1)  This song was written by Dewayne Blackwell. Blackwell had been a successful songwriter since the 50s supplying tunes to artists like the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Bobby Vinton, Conway Twitty, and others. One of his biggest hits came in 1990 when Garth Brooks recorded a song Blackwell co-wrote with Earl Bud Lee titled "Friends in Low Places." That single would spend four weeks at #1 on the Country chart. 2) The "make my day" phrase was such a cultural phenomenon that in 2005, AFI placed it at #6 on its list of the top 100 movie quotes.


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