As 1970 wound to a close, an era in country music was ending, as well. Since 1954, George Jones had been working with producer and record label owner Harold “Pappy” Daily. The combination had produced many classics; “White Lightning”, “Why Baby Why”, and “She Thinks I Still Care”, to name a few. But, that association was ending. By 1972, George was on CBS’ Epic label, working with legendary producer Billy Sherrill, who would bring George into a different, smoother, and ultimately highly successful style. The loss of Jones, and pop star Gene Pitney, ultimately spelled doom for Daily’s label, Musicor, as well. Though it did record one more big hit in 1972, the top ten pop hit “Popcorn” by Hot Butter.
1970 had started slowly by George Jones’ standard. Though “She’s Mine” (which debuted in November, 1969) started the year and decade in the top ten, his next two singles fell short. “Where Grass Won’t Grow” barely made the top 30 on Billboard. “Tell Me My Lying Eyes Were Wrong” did better, that summer. But it still fell short of the top 10. Today’s Single Of The Day, was the next release. Not only became a big hit, but ultimately, A George Jones classic.
Released in late October, 1970, “A Good Year For The Roses” debuted around Thanksgiving, on the country top 40, climbing into the top ten, then the top 5, looking like a possible number one hit for George. Ultimately, Lynn Anderson’s “Rose Garden” would keep George out of number one, as he spent 1 week at 2 on Billboard and 2 weeks at 2 on Cashbox.
One of the many great songs written by Jerry Chestnut, this one is a gem, a perfect George Jones-type song. 1971 did see a couple of more top tens for George before leaving Musicor, but this is, in the minds of many, his last major hit (or classic) during his long association with Pappy Daily.
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, and focuses on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.