Harper Valley PTA

Harper Valley PTA

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Harper Valley PTA

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"Harper Valley PTA" is a country song written by Tom T. Hall that was a major international hit single for country singer Jeannie C. Riley in 1968. Riley's record sold over six million copies as a single. The song made Riley the first woman to top both Billboard's Hot 100 and the U.S. country single's charts with the same song, a feat that would go unrepeated until Dolly Parton's "Nine to Five" in 1981.

The song tells the story of a junior high girl (high school in the original) who is sent home with a note to her widowed single mother from the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the school decrying the mother's scandalous behavior by small-town standards. The mother decides to speak to a meeting of the PTA where she addresses various episodes of misbehavior on the part of several of its members, concluding, "This is just a little Peyton Place / And you're all Harper Valley hypocrites." The final line of the song sums up the action with the memorable line: "The day my mama socked it to the Harper Valley PTA", a reference to the current popular phrase "sock it to me" from television's Laugh in. According to Riley's autobiography, this line was ad libbed at the recording session at the suggestion of someone at the session.

Tom T. Hall reportedly first offered the song to Skeeter Davis who declined. Riley's record label Plantation Records rush released the single when they learned both Billie Jo Spears and Margie Singleton...
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