The country classic, "I Love Country Music (And I'd Rather Fight Than Switch)" by Jack Barlow, made it to #21 on Cash Box 50 years ago this week (September 28, 1965). The song, co-written by my dad and released on Dial Records, was produced by legendary producer Buddy Killen, who owned the label. Killen also owned Tree Publishing, which published this song and two other songs co-written by dad, "I Love Her Still" and "Number One In The Nation," which were also recorded by Barlow on Dial Records. The records were distributed by Atlantic Records of New York. Barlow first sang "I Love Country Music (And I'd Rather Fight Than Switch)" on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry on November 8, 1965.
Killen shut down the Dial Records label in 1979 to concentrate on other music interests. Today, the Dial Records catalog is owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the largest music publishing company in the world with over 2 million songs under management. Sony/ATV Music Publishing is co-owned by The Estate of Michael Jackson.
In June of 1965, about the same time that Barlow was recording "I Love Country Music (And I'd Rather Fight Than Switch)" in New York, rockabilly legend Hayden Thompson walked into WJJD-AM in Chicago and recorded his version of the song, released as side A on a 45 r.p.m. record, with "Funny How Time Slips Away," written by Willie Nelson, which went on to become one of the all time great country classics, on side B. In 1986 both songs were included on an album Thompson released on SunJay Records, entitled 'Early Days.' The liner notes states the Willie Nelson classic" could almost have been a Sun Records' cut, as could the hot side, "I Love Country Music (And I'd Rather Fight Than Switch)," where Johnny Cash would have been proud of the sound." Hayden's versions of both songs had been long forgotten about until he included them on the Early Days album.