During the month of April, we remember when country music lost one of its greatest pillars, the king of country music, George Jones. A Texan native who gave life to country music, Jones was considered as the greatest voice in country music.
George Jones’ songs are among the most exemplary and well-loved in country music history. Most noteworthy, Jones is a legend and he was a vital part of the fabric of country music that spanned for more than fifty years.
In fact, when Reba McEntire introduced Jones at the Hall of Fame ceremony in 1992, she stated,
“There are many ways to describe Country Music, but I can do it in just two words: George Jones.”
His main legacy is his iconic songs. Almost all country music websites list “He Stopped Loving You Today” in their no. 1 spot as the greatest song of Jones. Although there are a lot of Jones’ great songs (and we cannot argue that), here are our 10 picks of George Jones’ greatest hits of all time.
10. “A Picture of Me (Without You)”
“A Picture of Me (Without You)” was actually intended and written for George Jones. According to Rich Kienzle’s notes, the song was meant for Jones to sing. Co-writer Norro Wilson sang the song for George “imitating the Jones style to show how he wanted it sung. Even with the string arrangement, the country feels remained undiminished.”
9. “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair”
George Jones went on to have chart-topping hits in his later years. It was almost forty years when he released “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair,” which became his theme song in his senescence age. Eventually, Jones won a CMA award for Vocal Event of the Year with this song.
8. “I Always Get Lucky With You”
Co-written and originally recorded by longtime friend, Merle Haggard, George Jones’ “I Always Get Lucky With You” hit the charts in 1983. When Jones’ producer, Billy Sherrill, found “I Always Get Lucky With You,” he initially didn’t tell Jones that it was a Haggard song, since the friends had gone through a recent misunderstanding. Eventually, the two reconciled and later paired up again in the 2006 album Kickin’ Out the Footlights.
7. “The Race is On”
Written by Don Rollins, George Jones released “The Race Is On” nearly a decade when he started his career. Another chart-topping song, it peaked at no. 3 on the Billboard Country Music charts.
6. ‘Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”
George Jones honors traditional country music, his childhood heroes, and colleagues with inspired tributes to classic artists like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Lefty Frizzell, Conway Twitty, Kenny Chesney and Alan Jackson.
5. “The One I Loved Back Then (The Corvette Song)
He loved his car. It was “hotter than a two dollar pistol,” and the heated the song right up the Country charts and continued to be an audience favorite until the end.
4. “The Grand Tour”
When Elvis and Priscilla Presley divorced in 1973, the King of Rock n’ Roll released “Separate Ways,” which paralleled their true story. Two years later George Jones’ ‘The Grand Tour’ did the same for wife Tammy Wynette and him.
3. “Golden Ring”
The marriage of George Jones and Tammy Wynette produced a number of hits like “We’re Gonna Hold On” and “Take Me.” Despite their divorce in 1975, the duet scored a hit the following year with “Golden Ring.”
2. “She Thinks I Still Care”
“She Thinks I Still Care” became Jones’ third chart-topping song, spending six weeks at no. 1 in 1962. Written by Dickey Lee and Steve Duffy, the song tells the story of a man who can’t get over his lost love but is in denial about it.
1. “He Stopped Loving Her Today”
Considered as the greatest country music, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” became the biggest hit in George Jones’ career. Ironically, he didn’t want to record the song, which he told producer Sherrill was too morbid and sad for anyone to like. The song tells the story of a man who spends the last decades of his life pining for his lost love and is only able to find peace through his death. Later, Jones earned a GRAMMY, an ACM award, and a CMA award with this song.
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