Barbara Fairchild – “Teddy Bear Song”

A short introduction on Barbara Fairchild

Barbara Fairchild is a country and gospel singer, most popularly known for her only Top 40 hit “Teddy Bear Song” in 1973. In 1973 Fairchild struck it big with her first #1 country hit “Teddy Bear Song” which also broke into the Top 40. She later scored a few more top 10 country hits such as “Kid Stuff” and “Baby Doll,” right after “Teddy Bear Song”’s success. But after that her hold on the charts began to steadily slide from then, apart from her only #1 country single “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right” and a couple top 10 country singles “Best Of Strangers” and “Fast Lanes and Country Roads” in the 1980s. Despite a comeback attempt in the mid-1980s, Fairchild never regained her prior country star status. She later turned to singing Christian/gospel material.

A born singer

Country and gospel singer Barbara Fairchild was born in Knobel, in Arkansas on November 12, 1950. Even while she was younger she already had a knack for singing.

Fairchild recorded her first single when she was just 15, and after her move to St. Louis, Missouri she began appearing on TV and cut a few singles for Norman Records. Later she jumped to Kapp Records, as well as MCA Records, but they receive little national attention; she also had a songwriting contract with MCA Records, but she still went on performing.

Barbara Fairchild’s rise as a country star

Fairchild was spotted by producer Billy Sherrill who had also discovered another country singer Tammy Wynette. Sherrill signed her to Columbia Records after hearing her sing. Her subsequent singles started to creep into the national charts as minor country hits. Her first charting single was “A Girl Who’ll Satisfy Her Man,” written by Jerry Crutchfield. It rose to #26 on the country chart in 1969.

Since then Fairchild had been a mainstay on the country charts, waxing off a lot of Top 40 country smashes including “(Loving You is) Sunshine,” “Color My World,” “Love’s Old Song,” “Holdin’ On (To the Love I Got),” “Thanks for the Mem’ries,” and “Give a Little, Take a Little,” as well as more minor country hits.

“Teddy Bear Song” – Fairchild’s biggest hit and signature tune

In 1973 Fairchild struck it big when her single “Teddy Bear Song” became her most successful crossover single yet. “Teddy Bear Song” was written by Don earl and Nick Nixon, and appeared on Fairchild’s third album A Sweeter Love. It reached the Billboard Hot 100’s top 40 songs list at #32, and also became her sole country chart-topper that year. It reached #9 on the adult contemporary singles chart that year. The song eventually earned her a Grammy nomination. “Teddy Bear Song” was and still is undoubtedly Fairchild’s signature tune.

Although Fairchild would never be able to duplicate or surpass the success of “Teddy Bear Song,” she achieved a couple of follow-ups that also became her Top 10 country hits: “Kid Stuff” (#95 pop, #2 country) and “Baby Doll.” (#6 country).

Fairchild’s first hit also as a songwriter was her 1969 single “Love Is A Gentle Thing” (which was written with Ann Burns and Ruby Van Noy). But her most successful venture in this field was also her own hit “Standing in Your Line,” which reached #17 on the country charts in 1974.

Fairchild’s diminishing popularity in the country music scene

By 1978, Fairchild’s country appeal had dwindled as her later singles started to appear on the lower regions of the charts. She later married an evangelical singer-songwriter Milton Carroll in Texas; soon, a fleeting attempt to launch a comeback in Nashville failed, despite sigining a contract with another major label Capitol. Her 1986 song “Just Riding Around” would be her last charting single to date.

Turning to gospel music

While her country momentum diminishing, she otherwise had success with gospel songs “Turn Right and Then Go Straight” and “Mary Washed His Feet.” It was this point where she gradually but increasingly turned her interests to gospel music. She has been singing and recording Christian contemporary music ever since. Fairchild and her third husband, singer-songwriter Roy Morris, have been appearing together singing both gospel and country tunes.