If you've never heard the number one single "I've Been Around Enough to Know" by John Schneider, then you might laugh when you see good ol Bo Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard's likeness on the cover. There's a lot of Schneider's records out there because his run with MCA made for some impactful singles, written by Nashville's best songwriters and sang by a distinct-sounding country vocalist.
A Surefire Hit
"I've Been Around Long Enough to Know," a cut off 1984 album Too Good To Stop Now, was a hit country song in the making, even if past versions by Cajun country artist Jo-El Sonnier and the incomparable Conway Twitty failed to top the charts. Dickey Lee, the songwriter of George Jones' "She Thinks I Still Care," wrote it with frequent collaborator Bob McDill, the mind behind the Possum's "Good Year for the Roses." Those two songs are worth pointing out because the pace and phrasing of Schneider's version, as envisioned by producer Jimmy Bowen, will remind a lot of listeners of Jones.
Lyrically, the narrator knows his one-night stand with a woman doesn't mean a thing long-term. It's fine, because he don't need to fall in love anyhow. Like a lot of songs that made it onto Twitty albums, its sexual content is far from subtle: "And I know you're only tryin' to ease your mind, but don't worry it's all right. I don't care if it's wrong or it's right. Just hold me close and love me one more time."
Making His Way (The Only Way He Knows How)
The cynic in most of us wonders if Schneider got to make records because he was a handsome TV star with a marketable image. Even if that's the case, he deserves credit for making the most of every opportunity. Early in his singing career, he cut a 1981 version of "It's Now or Never" that's said to be the highest-charting Elvis Presley cover in Billboard history, and he built on that momentum with a string of underrated albums and singles.
True country stardom came three years later, when consecutive singles "I've Been Around Enough to Know" and "Country Girls" both topped the country charts. Another former Twitty song, "What's a Memory Like You (Doing In A Love Like This)," reached number one in 1985, and "You're The Last Thing I Needed Tonight" ended Schneider's run of chart-topping success a year later. Toss in "It's a Short Walk From Heaven to Hell" and "Take the Long Way Home," and you've got the groundwork for a greatest hits playlist that's no laughing matter.