Patty Loveless Earned First Gold Album With ‘Honky Tonk Angel’ On This Day in 1991

by Clayton Edwards

Putting on a Patty Loveless record is like traveling back in time. Her vocals and the musical arrangements on her songs are pure 90s gold. The era from the mid-eighties through the nineties gave us some of the biggest female names in country music. Think back to what the airwaves sounded like back then. There were plenty of strong women singing a variety of songs. Near the top of that list was Loveless. Her blend of honky-tonk and neotraditional country carried her to the top of the charts several times. At the same time, it cemented her place in the hearts and minds of fans of 90s country.

On this day in 1991, Patty Loveless earned her first gold record. Her third studio album Honky Tonk Angel hit shelves on October 1, 1988, and was bound for success from day one. The album was her highest-charting release. It peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. At the same time, half of the songs on the album landed in the top ten of the Billboard Country Singles chart. Two of those went all the way to the top.

“Timber I’m Falling in Love”

In fact, Patty Loveless scored her first number-one single with “Timber I’m Falling in Love.” It was the third single from Honky Tonk Angel and helped to spur sales for the album. The fifth and final single from the album, “Chains” also hit the top of the charts. By the end of 1989, Loveless was sitting on top of the world and fans couldn’t get enough.

Patty Loveless Brings Home the Gold

Having two number-one hits, five top-ten hits, and a top-ten album was only the start for Patty Loveless. As time moved on, her fans didn’t. They continued to buy and love Honky Tonk Angel. By the time the spring of 1991 rolled around, the album was certified gold by the RIAA.

This was the start of the wave that Patty Loveless would ride for the rest of the decade. She took home five more gold albums in the nineties. Four of those went platinum. Honky Tonk Angel also went platinum in 1997. Then, things slowed down. Country radio shifted gears and made a new kind of country music popular. So, like other great acts of the eighties and nineties, Loveless was largely ignored by radio programmers in favor of the flavor of the moment.

After this shift, Patty Loveless moved on as well. She stepped away from the style of country music that put her at the top of the charts. As the world moved into the new millennium, Patty went back in time. Her early-2000s releases were infused with bluegrass and American roots music. Her last release was 2009’s Mountain Soul II.