Charly McClain… where have you been all of my life?
And secondly, how did it slip my mind that “Who’s Cheatin’ Who” is not an Alan Jackson original?
Instead, Alan’s 1997 release of the song was a well-done cover. And believe it or not, Alan topped out on the Billboard Charts at number two, while Charly’s rose all the way to the number one spot as a breakthrough single in 1981.
Written by Jerry Hayes, it was the title track of her 1980 record, Who’s Cheatin’ Who, and her first career #1 single.
In Charly’s version, she plays up the cheating ballad with her stunning raspy vocals, true to the ‘80s era of country music gold that included the likes of Tanya Tucker and The Judds. Not to mention her outgoing stage personality which really adds some extra spice to the track.
Truthfully, it adds a whole new layer to the song just to hear it sang from the female-perspective.
As much as I’d like to stand here and give her the “Who Sang It Best” award outright, I’m more concerned about the solid country duet we are missing out on from Charly and Alan.
And if Dolly Parton has taught us anything in her 76 years of life, it’s that the women of country music only get better with age, so I guarantee she could still hit the bars on “Who’s Cheatin’ Who” better than anyone.
See for yourself:
Alan Jackson’s version: