“It’s Just a Matter of Time,” a song written by Brook Benton, Belford Hendricks and Clyde Otis, was first recorded by Brook Benton in late 1958, at Mercury Sound Studio, New York City, The original recording by Benton topped the Billboard rhythm & blues chart in 1959 and peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 pop chart, the first in a string of hits for Benton that ran through 1970.
Randy Travis recorded it for the Warner Bros label, in June 1989, in Nashville, TN. With the production of Richard Perry, the song was released in August 1989, and on December 2, 1989, reached # 1 of the US Hot Country Songs charts, remaining a total of 26 weeks on the charts, also managed to reach # 1 on the Canada Country Tracks charts, on December 2, 1989, for two consecutive weeks. It was the tenth number one in Randy’s career.
The song was included in Randy’s fourth studio album, No Holdin ‘Back (Warner 1989), the album was released on September 26, 1989, and reached # 1 on the US Top Country Albums charts, on 4 November 12, 1989, for 12 weeks, and remaining a total of 115 weeks in the charts. On the Canadian RPM Top Albums charts, it reached # 55. The album was certified double platinum in the USA.
About the song:
Brook Benton, Belford Hendricks and Clyde Otis established themselves as a team of composers in the late 1950s, writing hits for Nat King Cole (“Looking Back”) and Clyde McPhatter (“A Lover’s Question”). During a songwriting session, Benton expressed frustration at not having had good ideas, to which Otis replied: “It’s only a matter of time, Brook.” Those words inspired them to write a love song from the point of view of a man who misses his love, but believes that she will return to him.
Benton and Otis placed the song on a demo tape for Cole, and he agreed to record it. However, Otis became an A&R manager at Mercury Records and signed Benton with the seal. Otis felt that “It’s Just A Matter Of Time” would be an ideal single for Benton, and asked Cole not to record the song so it could be Benton’s first release on the label.Belford Hendricks, a composer with classical training, He co-wrote and arranged the recording. The Benton version, in a style clearly influenced by Cole, was a quick success, reaching number three on the Billboard charts while leading the R&B list for 9 weeks in the spring of 1959, the longest on the list of songs of that year.
Patti Page 1962 (Mercury)
Roy Hamilton 1963 (MGM)
Aretha Franklin 1964 (Columbia)
Tom Jones 1965 (Decca)
Gene Watson 1969 (Wide World)
Kenny Price 1970 (RCA)
Red Sovine 1970 (Starday Records)
Tammy Wynette 1970 (Epic)
Tony Booth 1974 (Capitol Records)