George Jones, popularly known for his nickname The Possum, was an artist who took pride in his long list of hit records. Throughout his six-decade career as a country musician, Jones produced more than one hundred thirty songs that include ten chart-toppers. Would you believe that the country icon had released more albums than his songs? That is right, folks. His collection reached to 141 surpassing the total number of singles that he recorded. And his albums vary in coverage. In addition to studio and compilation albums, the singer had live and tribute albums, too. But, today’ story will center on his first-ever album that hit No. 1 on the country album chart. We’ll reserve the other albums for future stories.
His First No. 1 Country Album
Jones’ name may oftentimes be associated with his famous hit “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” but over a decade before he recorded that smash tune, he scored his first top country album in 1966. Released on the Musicor Records label, the album was called I’m a People. Several music critics reviewed the album with favorable feedbacks, which is of course expected. Otherwise, it would not have topped the country album chart. George Bedard of Allmusic provided an overview of what to expect from the album. He specifically noted the variety of music styles that were present in each track. He noted,
“One of the more consistent Musicor offerings, it features a good mix of uptempo honky tonk and novelty (“I’m a People,” “Ship of Love, ” and “Blindfold of Love”), ballads (the eerie “The Lonely Know My Secret”), and sacred songs (“If You Believe” and “Old Brush Arbors”).
Additionally, 2 of the 12 singles on the album were Top 10 hits. That includes the album’s title track and “Four-O-Thirty Three.” In a separate review, the lead single “I’m a People” was given more emphasis on Dallas Frazier’s essays. In particular, the critic wrote on his 1994 Sony compilation The Essential George Jones: The Spirit of Country his observation of the song’s arrangement. He commented that it was
“clearly designed to imitate Roger Miller‘s hit novelties. George even attempted to scat-sing as Miller often did on his own hits.”
Another remarkable track that was highlighted was Loretta Lynn‘s penned-tune, World of Forgotten People.” Below is a clip of Jones’ live rendition of his first top album’s title track, “I’m a People.”
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First #1 Country Album, George Jones, I'm a People