Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

How George Jones Made “Tennessee Whiskey” A Country Music Staple

by

After nearly forty years, the song “Tennessee Whiskey” remains a country music staple. George Jones’ recording in 1983 brought the song into the spotlight after it peaked No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

But did you know George Jones was not the first country singer to cut the song?

“Tennessee Whiskey” Became A Mainstay George Jones’ Live Set

It turned out “Tennessee Whiskey” was first pitched to George Strait; however, the country singer turned it down. David Allan Coe became the first country artist to cut the song, making it the title song of an album he released in 1981. He brought the song to the 77th spot on the chart, which set the framework for the success it would come across in later years.

The song was later covered by George Jones, whose version was released in August 1983 as the third single from his album Shine On. Jones’ version reached a new peak commercially as it claimed the second place on the country chart, and even peaked No. 1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.

Ever since then, the song remained a mainstay in George Jones’ live set. He would often substitute the name of whatever city or town he was in for “Tennessee” in the second chorus. In 1985, he performed the “Tennessee Whiskey” at the Farm Aid concert. And in the middle of his performance, David Allan Coe went up the stage and joined him in a duet on the first chorus. Although the two country superstars only shared the stage for a brief moment, it became the highlight of the concert.

Meanwhile, at George Jones’ concert in Chattanooga on March 22, 2013, the country superstar performed “Tennessee Whiskey” for the last time. While introducing his now-iconic song, Jones spoke a little about the rough life he lived, and how he’d been sober for almost twenty years.

 “I haven’t drank or smoked for 17 years now, and I know a lot of them out there still don’t believe it,” he told the crowd. “But anyhow, it happened and what a wonderful life. You find out what you got after all the fun. Here’s my favorite drinkin’ song, it goes like this.”

George Jones sat on a stool, tapping his toe to the beat and singing his heart out. Although his health was already declining, he gave everything he had into this performance. You could even tell he was trying extremely hard to hit the higher notes, though he struggled a little bit.

Less than a month after that performance, he was admitted to the hospital for a fever and irregular blood pressure. He sadly passed away a few days later from hypoxic respiratory failure at 81 years old.

“Tennessee Whiskey” was written by Dean Dillon with Linda Hargrove. “It was 4 o’clock in the morning, and I had been drinking all night, and I met a young lady by the name of Linda Hargrove, and we decided to go home together—but not for what everybody thought,” Dillon said. “I had the idea for the song, and we sat at her house at 4 o’clock in the morning and wrote that song. And the rest is history.”

You don’t want to miss out on George Jones’ performance of “Tennessee Whiskey.” Check it out in the video below.

Latest Stories

Zach Bryan + Pink Skies

Zach Bryan’s “Pink Skies” Explores Loss and Love

Country music singer-songwriter Zach Bryan released “Pink Skies” as part of his album of the same title. It immediately became the talk of the town because of the (definitely not ...

Hank Williams - Hey Good Lookin'

Hank Williams’ Relatable Charm in “Hey, Good Lookin’” 

When Hank Williams arrived in 1949 in Nashville, he didn’t wait long to become one of the biggest stars in country music. A year later until 1951, he enjoyed the ...

Cavendish Beach Musical Festival 2024

Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2024Festival Duration:July 5-7, 2024Venue:Route 6 Ranch in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, CanadaPerformers Include:Brothers Osborne, Tyler Childers, Zac Brown Band, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here ...

Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic 2024

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic 2024Festival Duration:July 4, 2024Venue:Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, New JerseyPerformers Include:Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, and moreTicket Information:Get Your ...

Travis Tritt + Help Me Hold On

Travis Tritt Begs His Lover For One More Chance In “Help Me Hold On”

Country singer Travis Tritt scored his first number-one hit with his second release from his 1990 debut album Country Club titled “Help Me Hold On.” He co-wrote it with accomplished ...

Carrie Underwood Falls Off Stage on Tail End of South Carolina Concert

Carrie Underwood Rocks Carolina Country Music Fest Despite Rain

Country singer Carrie Underwood graced the last day stage of the Carolina Country Music Fest 2024 in Myrtle Beach and delivered one hell of a performance despite the massive downpour. ...

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Seeks Annulment on Grounds of Fraud

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Cites Fraud

American country singer Billy Ray Cyrus reached a breaking point with Australian singer Firerose just after seven months of marriage. According to court documents obtained by the Associated Press, Billy ...

Travis Tritt + Best of Intentions

Travis Tritt Made A Career Comeback With “Best of Intentions”

It was 2000, and it had been six years since Travis Tritt hit the top of the charts and three since his last appearance in the Top 10. The first ...

Sonny James Death

A Moment To Remember: Country Singer Sonny James’ Death At 87

Country singer Sonny James, known for his 1957 track “Young Love,” which topped both country and pop charts, passed away on February 22, 2016, at Nashville’s Alive Hospice. According to ...

Wynonna Sings Coal Miner's Daughter with Loretta Lynn's Granddaughter Emmy Russell - Idol

Wynonna Judd Joins Emmy Russell On Idol To Sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Emmy Russell started her American Idol journey with an original song. She fittingly ended it with a tribute cover of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for her late grandmother and country legend ...

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.