This is the second country song that Guy Mitchell has made into a pop hit. His first was “Singing the Blues” which was number one in 1956. “Singing the Blues” was done originally by Marty Robbins and was a big country hit. Guy now does it again by covering Ray Price’s “Heartaches By the Number” which he recorded in 1953. The Ray Price version spent a couple weeks at number two on the Country chart in 1959.This song has been done by many country artists, including Dwight Yoakam and Willie Nelson. “Heartaches By the Number” was written by Harlan Howard in 1959 and it was originally written as a country song.
This was Guy Mitchell’s second number one and his fifth Top 40 record. But, unfortunately, it was also his last. He never charted in the Top 40 again. I think the reason for that is that he was too busy being an actor. In 1957, he starred in his own television show called The Guy Mitchell Show on ABC. It was a half-hour variety show featuring Guy, but it didn’t last long. By January of 1958, it had been cancelled.
In 1961, he became part of another television show, this time as an actor. It was called Whispering Smith and starred Audie Murphy. Westerns were very popular in the late Fifties and early Sixties. There was a couple years when westerns accounted for the majority of the programs on TV. I remember Whispering Smith because Audie Murphy was one of my favorite cowboys. I used to go to Saturday morning matinees in the early Fifties and see Audie Murphy take down the bad guy. Whispering Smith was not strictly a western, but it was close. It involved two detectives (Murphy and Mitchell) in Denver, Colorado in the 1800s and they solved crimes. It was great. The show only lasted one season and played for 28 episodes.
Guy stayed in the acting game, working when he could. He was on TV as recently as 1999 when he did some voiceover work for a Japanese anime show called Bastad!!. Guy Mitchell died on July 1, 1999 of complications from cancer surgery. He was 72 years old.
“Heartaches By the Number’ debuted on the pop chart on October 15, 1959 and spent two weeks at number one.