Did You Know?
“He’ll Have to Go” is a country song originally recorded by Jim Reeves in 1959. It was a massive hit for Reeves and is considered one of his signature songs. The song was written by Joe Allison and Audrey Allison.
The lyrics of the song depict a man giving advice to another man who is trying to win back the affection of his romantic partner. The narrator suggests that the man use a deep, smooth voice and adopt a confident and reassuring tone when speaking to his partner, in order to convince her to choose him over another potential suitor. The phrase “Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone” from the song has become particularly iconic.
The song’s success contributed to Reeves’ popularity and played a significant role in shaping the Nashville Sound—a more polished and smoother style of country music that emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
“He’ll Have to Go” has been covered by numerous artists over the years and remains a classic in the country music genre. It’s known for its romantic and emotional lyrics, as well as Reeves’ distinctive voice that perfectly suits the song’s sentiments.
The song spent 14 weeks at #1 on the US country charts in 1960. It also crossed over to pop radio and peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It demonstrated Reeves’ widespread appeal to both country and pop audiences.
“He’ll Have To Go” became an enduring classic of the Nashville sound era. While a simple lyric, Reeves’ heartfelt delivery turned it into one of his signature songs. It exemplified his ability to convey complex emotions through simple but sincere performances. Over six decades later, it remains one of Jim Reeves’ most beloved and well-known hits.