Things Go Better With Love

Featuring Jeannie C. Riley's unbelievable country hit, The Rib.

At first glance, it might appear that the poster-sized, triple-foldout album cover is the best thing about this album from Jeannie C. Riley (of Harper Valley PTA fame). After all, it isn't often that you get a stunning 36" photograph with your album purchase. (It took five passes on an HP ScanJet to capture the image -- if you're very brave, click it to see the 433K high res version).

But, for all this, it's the music that counts. And the centerpiece of Things Go Better With Love is a song called The Rib. Like some kind of twisted, backwater, Limbaugh-approved version of feminism, The Rib seeks to extoll the virtues of womankind but doesn't want to risk offending the sensibilities of even the most chauvanistic male (probably a good plan, given the fact that Jeannie's legs seem to be one of the major selling points). The result is so farfetched that even after several listenings, I am still not sure what's going on. And Adam called me Woman... for I am The Rib.

The inside liner notes on my well-worn copy provide an address for the Jeannie C. Riley fan club (3106 Blemont Blvd, Nashville TN 37212) along with a message from Plantation Records that "This record is guaranteed against all defects including breakage, wearing out or any dissatisfaction on the part of the purchaser". So far, I haven't got any complaints.

Things Go Better With Love
(click picture to magnify)
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Back Side Of Dallas (MP3) This is what big cities do to poor small town girls. It turns them into... bartenders? I don't get it. Oh, wait.
The Rib (MP3) Is this what they mean by "suffrage"?

See Also: The Ballad of Jim and Tammy

Your Comments:

Peanut Head says:
Hey Dr. Matt!!!

Imagine.....Jeannie C. Babe wid a LAVA LAMP, SPLIFFY an sum JAMMY OSMIENT onda boom box!!! CHUBB city fer sure dere, Dr. Matt....

But I not sure if Lynn Adnason gonna go fer da menage a twat dere, Matt....she mebbe promised ya da Rose Garden....but dunno about da quif sandwich dere.... da dream bout da while yer sittin' nekked wid JAMMY CDs and liqour/smokes an Jeannie C. Babe ...what MommY??? (uh-oh..gotta go..bye) (11-17-2004)

Mad Dr. Matt ( says:
Man, I hate to state the obvious - But was Jeanie C Riley a BABE or what? A babe with a capital B! And how about the go-go boots? Does the whip come in silver, too? She had attitude as well. "Harper Valley PTA" just dripped with it! I would have liked to have gotten together with her and Lynn Anderson together for some three-part harmonies. Ker-ack! (11-16-2004)

Millie from Missouri says:
Does anyone have a copy or the words to a jeannie c. Riley song called ( I think ) sheltered in the arms of Jesus? What little I know of it has kept me on the mountain top for years and against a lot of odds. I'm sheltered in the arms of Jesus , just like a mother hods her baby , I'm sheltered in the arms of Jesus , and there I'll be when he calls me away. (thats all I know of it ) but I have been looking for it for years . can you help me ? (11-05-2004)

KERRY & EDWARDS IN '04! says:
KERRY & EDWARDS IN '04! (10-28-2004)

Joli ( says:
Now I KNOW I'm tired. I meant to say the body is the vehicle for the HEAD... not the body. How REDUNDANT can I get! It's like that disco song "My body, your body, everybody, our body..." I think it's called "Let's All Chant." Actually chanting goes against my sense & sensibilities. (10-14-2004)

Joli ( says:
Pardon my long desertation (complete with more typos) on men & women. It's late & I am tired & when I'm tired I tend to RAMBLE. I need to stop making sense for I have become nothing more than a TALKING HEAD. The body, BTW, is the vehicle for the body. Can you imagine if we were all just heads talking AT each other. What a bodiless world that would be. What a glorious time to be free. (10-14-2004)

Joli ( says:
Jeannie Riley & Billie Joe Spears sound so alike in voice & song it's not even funny. Also, Jess Klein & Susanna Hoffs from the Bangles sound identical. Not to mention, Maria Muldaur & Katie Melua. Not only are women treated like ribs by the male masses, they're treated like SPARE ribs. Yet women COMPLETE men. Just as Arabian horses have one less vertebrae than all other breeds, which, in turn, increases their stamina & endurance, men have one less rib which increases they're libido & male ego at the expense of the very women who can take a man from being only half a man to being whole. But instead the man acts as if he has no lasting use for a woman & would rather slip in & out of being less than men to being whole men. My friend has a theory about men that I think says it all: Granted all men are A-S-S-H-O-L-E-S & women are stupid for going out with them. Therefore, for the relationship to work, the level of female stupidity has to be greater than or equal to the level of male ACILIDITY (ASSHOLE-IDITY). I am not the man hater you might now expect me to be but I am seriously beginning to wonder if there are any GOOD men left. The answer to that would be NO because all good men are taken & there are a far greater ratio of females than there are males. NO FAIR. Women have it the worst in EVERY way. They suffer PAIN during childbirth. Men do not even half half the threshold for pain that women possess. Women suffer PAIN during their periods. Women suffer far more emotionally & psychologically then men do because brain activity in men only takes place in one brain locale at a time where with women, brain activity is ALL over the map in simultaneous locales. Women suffer alot more physically & sexually at the hands of man. How many female serial murderers, pedophiles & rapists do you see on America's Most Wanted by way of contrast to male serial murderers, pedophiles & rapists? This alone suggests women are more MORAL than men. Women also suffer because of MENOPAUSE. And... given there were NO guns in the Garden Of Eden & given Eve did not hold a gun to Adam's head, Adam was just as much an accessory to the crime as Eve was the instigator of the crime. If Adam was ANY kind of man he would have found the right words or a way to talk Eve out of her emotional attachment to eating the forbidden fruit & he would have taken a firm stand despite her protests & conducted himself in such a manner that won her over & made her rethink her position on the subject. And... he would not have tried to blame her for his part in the whole sad, sorry scenario. And she would then have not felt so deeply hurt by Adam not taking personal responsibility for his part in it & blaming it all on her which, in turn, made her feel the need to blame it on the snake so that she could more easily bear up under Adam's finger pointing & unwillingness to own up to the fact that he SHARED in her blame. Wow... how did I wind up here? Oh... yes, suffrage. Women do SUFFER. Men will never be able to fully grasp or count the endless & unspeakable ways women suffer. Only men who are the exception & not the rule could ever walk even a single mile in a woman's shoes. If Jeannie is "riley" it's because men gave her good reason to be. (10-14-2004)

Gaby says:
What became of Bobbie Gentry? (09-17-2004)

roger clark ( says:
Is jenny still around and what is she doing theses days. I joined the JENNY C. RILEY FAN CLUB back in the late 60' and still have the picture and membership card I always thought she had the voice of a nightngale. (08-18-2004)

Kelly ( says:
Can anyone tell me how I might be able to contact Ms. Riley, I knew a close friend of hers that recently passed away and we have not been able to get in touch with her to let her know. Any help would be greatly appreciated. (07-27-2004)

so funny says:
how you pretend to know so much about american culture. i could tell you a whole bit about fish n chips, and my life in Cambridge. oh bloody hell. does pain bother you? does dying? both? don't sweat it. time favours you now. but one day it will end just like i told you. but you will still be in disbelif till the end....... (07-25-2004)

Peanut Head says:
Yee-haw dere, Tonya an Cody right frum da trailer park in Wheelwright, Kuntucky...

Iffen Crystal "Gail" yer cuzin, howcum ya CANNOT SPELL HER NAME RIGHT, ya stoopid dykes???

"Earnest" Tubb?? Oh hee hee coupla stoopid peeps frum Krumtucky dere....

Too badd ya not cuzins of JAMMY OSMINDT, cuz HE DA BOMB, Tonya an Cody!!!!...

Git nekkid wid da CD an spark a spliff at yer trailerpark dere in KY...lots o' fun fer .....oops....yes Mommmy?...(I haveta go...bye) (07-25-2004)

Tonya and Cody Farmer ( says:
Jeanie C. Riley was and is still one of the most beautiful women in the world. My son and I are country music singers and cousins of Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gail and while we were in Nashville singing we met her back stage at the Earnest Tubb record shop. She didn't really know us at all but she welcomed us with open arms and made us feel just like family, she even invited us to church services the next morning with her and let my son sign autographs with her. She told him that he was her new boyfriend and being around eight years old that just made his day.. She also gave us her cell phone no. after talking to her for several hours and told my son she would see him on stage soon and not to give up on his dreams. He will make it Jeanie, wait and see. We love you darling if you remember us we're the ones from Wheelwright, Ky. let's keep in touch, take care of your health and god bless you. (07-24-2004)

Jimmy Adams ( says:
Jeannie C is the best. I've got all of her albums, saw twice in concert, no one is better in my book. She's beautiful! (05-07-2004)

Dan Malorie ( says:
Jeannie is one of my closest friends. We sometimes talk for hours on the phone just reminiscing about our good and wild times in the past. I love her and she loves me, but we are not going to get married or anything. We are just very good friends, if you know what I mean. I'm glad to see that she has so many admirers becuase she is definitely deservant of them. What a girl. (05-03-2004)

Adam says:
The sort of high concept, lo-falutin', overblown quasi-biblical bollocks that country music does so well. You can almost see the songwriters struggling in the nasty salt porrige of a quandry, trying to get this out so that it wouldn't offend anyone... (03-13-2004)

Dr. O.B. Sessive says:
Jeanie C. Riley is much hotter than Nancy Sinatra (sorry Nancy!) I love her homespun sounding (but Oh so hip) vocals. She is up there with Bobbi Gentry ("Ode to Billie Joe") or Buffy St. Marie ("Co'deine"and "Universal Soldier") for me!

I guess it comes down to the age old debate between if you were stranded on an island with Mary-Ann and Ginger which one would you Schtup?

I'd be thinking Ginger, but doing Mary-Ann! (03-01-2004)

Dr. O.B. Sessive says:
Jeanie C. Riley is much hotter than Nancy Sinatra (sorry Nancy!) I love her homespun sounding (but Oh so hip) vocals. She is up there with Bobbi Gentry ("Ode to Billie Joe") or Buffy St. Marie ("Co'deine"and "Universal Sorlder") for me!

I guess it comes down to the age old debate between if you were stranded on an island with Mary-Ann and Ginger which one would you Schtup?

I'd be thinking Ginger, but doing Mary-Ann! (03-01-2004)

Vynyl Junkie ( says:
It's funny how we vinyl collectors stumble into these things... A buddy of mine had some tenants who left several LP's in a house they had been renting from him when they moved out - Ms. Riley's 36" fold out among them. Since he knew I collected records, he gave them to me so I now have a copy in comparable condition to Frank's.

I agree with Tom - "The Rib" is a very pro-woman song. I did find the line about "laundering your shirts and giving you children..." a bit over the top - almost like childbirth and ironing require the same effort. Then again, that would make it an even stronger feminist statement, now that I think about it! (06-10-2003)

Tom says:
Jeannie C. Riley is Cool with a Capital C!!! She was one of the five or so hottest women in country music on the charts in the late 60's/early 70's. And as far as looks, probably the "hottest" - Shania Twain has nothing on her!!

Are you kidding with your slam of THE RIB?? That's one of the bravest pro-woman songs ever in any popular music format. Pay attention the the lyrics!! Riley sings that women are supposed to be "not lesser than" men and points that they were created from the rib to be side by side not a foot bone to be walked on, not a shoulder bone to be lied on, etc. Not only was this a COUNTRY record, always the most conservative music genre but at the dawn of the feminist movement when many a southern man was appalled by "women's libbers" and scared that "their" women folk might take up the cause. I don't care about her later denials, Tammy Wynette's STAND BY YOUR MAN was most definately meant to be an anti-feminist song and that is certainly how the South took it and the reason it became a monster hit. I think Jeannie's was a very brave record. I mean even the POP feminist records at the time were copouts like Sandy Posey's BORN A WOMAN, where after complaining about injustices to women concludes "no price is too great to pay" to have a good man!!

It's worth noting too THE RIB was written by two female songwriters. I suspect Jeannie's producer got scared by the song and stuck on a very anti-feminist song on the album called A REAL WOMAN. How on earth did you miss that one?? With lines like "A real woman stays at thank you for making me a real woman"!! I think that song was written by a man!

This album has a great song on it called THERE NEVER WAS A TIME that was a top five record for Jeannie and was even covered by the likes of Dolly Parton and Skeeter Davis on their albums.

Jeannie has always been one of my favorites since I was like nine years old. She had some well-publicized personal problems in the 1990's but I sure hope and pray she has the beautiful life she deserves today. (03-18-2003)

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