October 15

“A Good Year for the Roses:” George Jones’ Deeply Moving Hit

Country music legend George Jones was known for his emotive delivery of songs particularly those with sad themes. This was apparent in his recordings of “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “Tender Years,” among others. His distinct style of singing helped him establish his name in the music world and eventually reached success. Also, his legacy remains alive through his timeless music. Aside from the two songs previously mentioned, here’s another example of a Jones record that displays his intensely moving vocal. The song is entitled “A Good Year for the Roses” which Jones recorded in 1970.

Jones’ Rendition of the Song

“A Good Year for the Roses” is a breakup ballad describing what’s on the mind of a man whose wife is about to leave him. Jones’ was able to exhibit his skill in delivering a deeply affecting vocal which blended perfectly with the sadness and bitterness that come with such separation. What stands out in this performance was Jones’ impressive clenched-teeth vocal. Additionally, the recording was backed by choir singers and strings on the chorus. Accordingly, Chris Woodstra of AllMusic considered the record as “one of his all-time greatest performances.”

Additional Facts of the Song

The poignant tune was penned by Jerry Chesnut and was recorded at the time Jones was still with Musicor. Jones recorded two versions of the song. The original one was released in 1970. It became a runner-up on the country chart peaking at No. 2. The second appeared on his album A Good Year for the Roses: The Complete Musicor Recordings 1965-1971.

In 1994, Jones performed the song together with Alan Jackson. Their duet was included on the album Bradley Barn Sessions. Their collaboration only had a minor success considering its chart performance. In particular, the song failed to crack the Top 50 peaking only at No. 57. For Jackson, this was the first time in his career that his duet record did not enter the chart’s Top 50. The following year though, “A Good for the Roses” won an award from the Music City News Country Awards. The awarding institution named the song as the “Vocal Collaboration of the Year.”

Watch Jones and Jackson’s performance of the song below.

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Alan Jackson, George Jones, Jerry Chesnutt


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