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28 Years Ago: Reba McEntire Hits No. 1 With ‘Cathy’s Clown’

Reba McEntire Cathys Clown Cover
MCA Records

Twenty-eight years ago today (July 29, 1989) was a day of celebration for Reba McEntire: It was on that date that her single “Cathy’s Clown” soared to the top of the charts.

By the time McEntire hit No. 1 with “Cathy’s Clown,” which was the debut single from her platinum-selling Sweet Sixteen album, it had already been a hit in the pop world, for the Everly Brothers; with them, the song stayed at the top of the pop charts for five weeks in 1960. But it was McEntire’s spin on it, almost 30 years later, that gave the tune an entirely new life.

“Cathy’s Clown” was originally written in the first person, featuring lines such as “Don’t want your love anymore / Don’t want your kisses, that’s for sure / I die each time / I hear this sound / ‘Here he comes. That’s Cathy’s clown.'” However, McEntire changed the lyrics to the third person for her version: “She don’t want your lovin’ anymore / She don’t want your kisses, that’s for sure / Why do you let them put you down / And let ’em call you Cathy’s clown?”

“Cathy’s Clown” was the Oklahoma native’s 13th No. 1 single, and the only song from Sweet Sixteen to land at the top of the charts. Actor Bruce Boxleitner appears in the video as a clown, set in an Old West scene.

McEntire included “Cathy’s Clown” on several of her compilation albums, including Reba Live in 1989, 2005’s Reba’s Number 1’s and Reba’s Greatest Hits in 2008. The song is available for download on iTunes.

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