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I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You

(Fred Imus/Phil Sweet)

This song, written by Fred Imus and Phil Sweet in 1976, was discovered by Chet Atkins who had the producer Bob Ferguson put together a duo to record it for the RCA label.  Jim Ed Brown was the choice for the male half and after having to be convinced about Helen Cornelius being the other half they recorded it as their first single together.

Such was its popularity that it climbed up the charts to the No. 1 position on the Billboard Country chart and was also a hit in Canada when it went up to No. 7 on its country music chart.  The flip side of the single was “Have I Told You Lately that I Love You”.

It became the most successful single for the pair in their solo careers let alone as a duo when it hung around the country chart for ten weeks.  It was also a success for the songwriters in 1977 when Music City News voted it “Song of the Year”.

The album of the same name was also successful for them when it reached No. 3 on the Cash Box country chart and won the 1977 CMA Album of the Year Award.  It has since appeared on several “greatest hits” albums and compilations.