October 12

Flashback to George Jones’ “The Grand Tour” – One of the Saddest Songs of All Time

George Jones’ hit song, “The Grand Tour” will absolutely be our all-time favorite.

It was released in 1974 as the first single from Jones’ album of the same name. The emotional song was a hit and earned Jones the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, the sixth No. 1 song of his career.

One of the Saddest Country Songs Of All Time

While “The Grand Tour” itself was incredibly successful, the song’s meaning was about a failed marriage and lost love.

The song kicked off with sorrowful foreshadowing that sends chills down your spine. Jones then invited us into his broken home, now haunted by happy memories of the past.

“There’s her rings, all her things. And her clothes are in the closet like she left them when she tore my world apart. As you leave, you’ll see the nursery. Oh, she left me without mercy. Taking nothing but our baby and my heart,” the song goes.

Jones’ bellowing and his sorrowful voice added an element of real pain to the song as soon as he sang. So, it was no longer a surprise when Rolling Stone named the song No. 38 on its “40 Saddest Country Songs of All Time.”

Songwriter Norro Wilson contemplated the success of “The Grand Tour” in The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits. “As I recall, when George cut that song, it was the most talked-about record he’d had in an awfully long time,” Wilson said. “‘The Grand Tour’ is one of my proudest moments.” 

When Wilson arrived at the Grand Ole Opry around the time of the record’s release, “No sooner I walked in the door, everybody came runnin’ up to me and said, ‘Jesus Christ! Have you got a monster on your hands?'” Wilson recalled. “And man, I went ballistic! Everybody I ran across that night said, ‘That’s just gonna be a monster.’ It was a really, really, really good record.”

“The Grand Tour” was also deeply personal for Jones when he first sang it, as his own marriage to his fellow country star, Tammy Wynette, was on the verge of its end. Indeed, just within a year of the song’s release, Jones sadly split from his wife. Oddly enough, Wynette later married George Richey, who co-wrote “The Grand Tour.”

So grab a box of tissues and check out George Jones’ heart-tugging performance of “The Grand Tour.”


George Jones

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