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May 18

George Jones’ Style Turns a Simple Ballad to a Masterpiece

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George Jones' Style Turns a Simple Ballad to a Masterpiece 1
George Jones | Photo: Screen grabbed from Youtube

In his Tender Years” single, ‘The Possum‘ George Jones poured out a tender rendition of the song that soon became one of his classic hits. He was, in fact, praised for his improved vocals that led to the song’s favorable review. That was in 1961. Four years later, Jones released another classic country song that his audience would soon love listening to. This time, the record was with the Musicor label. Written by Leon Payne, the song is called “Things Have Gone to Pieces.” Musicor released it on March 13, 1965.

The single was Jones’ first major hit with the said label company. It peaked at No. 9 and spent a total of 21 weeks on the Billboard chart. Similar to his previous releases, the late singer was again acclaimed for “Things Have Gone to Pieces.”  This compliment can be found on The Grand Tour, a 2016 memoir of Jones. In the words of biographer Rich Kienzle, 

“George’s peerless approach elevated this simple ballad to a masterpiece that became his first solo hit on Musicor in the spring of 1965. Today it remains a high point of his six years with the label.”

Digging Deeper Into the Song

Basically, “Things Have Gone to Pieces” is a song about a brokenhearted man. The title alone speaks clearly for the song’s content. A man had his heart broken when his lover left him. As a result, his world seemed to have crushed. In particular, the song lists a litany of unfortunate events that the narrator experienced since his breakup with his partner. The song exudes a comically melodramatic premise. Yet, Jones drew on his most bluesy and soulful vocals to give the lyrics exact resonance. In 2006, Merle Haggard recorded the song for the album Kickin’ Out the Footlights…Again. The said project was the second duet album of Jones and Haggard.

The Lyrics

The faucet started drippin’ in the kitchen
And last night your picture fell down from the wall
Today the boss said sorry, I can’t use you anymore
And tonight the light bulb went out in the hall

Things have gone to pieces since you left me
Nothing turns out, half-right now it seems
There ain’t nothing in my pocket,
But three nickels and a [4] dime
But I’m holding to the pieces of my dream

Somebody threw a baseball through my window
And the arm fell off my favorite chair again
The man called me today and said he’d haul my things away
If I didn’t get my payments made by ten

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George Jones, leon payne, Things Have Gone to Pieces


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