Here is the story, via Yahoo! Music.
So much is already being, and has been said, about the legendary career of George Jones. I’ll simply add a few stats that show how incredible he really was. According to Joel Whitburn’s Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits, George scored 145 Country 40 singles, between 1955 and 2005, including his solo work, duets, and guest appearances. Seventy-eight of those appearances wound up in the top ten, while thirteen became number one hits. And while Willie Nelson may be the king of duets, George had more than his share of successes. The names he appeared with on the Country 40, include Tammy Wynette, Jeanette Hicks, Margie Singleton, Melba Montgomery, Gene Pitney, Brenda Carter, his stepdaughter Tina, Johnny Paycheck, Merle Haggard, Ray Charles, Brenda Lee, Lacy J. Dalton, Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, Patty Loveless, Chad Brock, and Shooter Jennings.
George, you will be missed, greatly.
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable, or in the CD player. Today’s Classic Album Review pulls a long play from the stack of the legendary George Jones, one of his estimated sixty-plus albums of original material. Released in May, 1984, by Epic Records, You’ve Still Got A Place In My Heart would climb as high as seventeen on the bestseller lists. Only one single, the title cut, was released from the album, a somewhat unusual happening on albums, by the 1980’s.
The title cut opens this collection. An old Leon Payne written song that previously had been a Country 20 hit for Con Hunley, as well as a pop single for Dean Martin, George’s version, to this point, has been the only top ten version, climbing as high as number three in the Spring of 1984. Great ballad, perfectly suited for George, and one of his more underrated hit.
“From Strangers, To Lovers, To Friends” is also a vintage George Jones-style song. Fine performance, of course, makes an otherwise ordinary song, that much better.
“The Second Time Around” is another okay ballad; again, the song itself, is nothing particularly special (an okay piece), but, again, when you have George Jones singing, even a most ordinary number is elevated two or three notches.
“Come Sundown” was a 1971 top ten hit for Bobby Bare, and George gives a really nice interpretation, here. George’s incredible ability to get to the heart with his vocal is really apparent, here. You like George, you’ll like this track.
Side one ends with George’s take on the song “Even The Bad Times Are Good”, which Jerry Wallace had a single on, back in 1964. George’s version, in my opinion, was single-worthy. Good way to end the first side.
Side two opens with a song that George wrote and became Moon Mullican’s final hit in 1961, “I’m Ragged But I’m Right”. A bouncy track, in fact, the first up tempo piece on the album. A light-hearted, fun piece that is enjoyable to listen to.
Perhaps the most interesting cover on the album is George’s take on the 1954 T. Texas Tyler hit, “Courtin’ In The Rain”. Kind of a goofy piece, yet if you like George’s novelty work like ‘I’m A People” or “Nothing Ever Hurt Me (Half As Bad As Losing You)”, then you’ll like it.
“Love Shine” is a novelty-ish track that falls into a similar vein of “Love Bug”, with a little “White Lightin’ mixed in. Not nearly as strong as those two Jones classics, but still not a terrible track.
One of the album’s best cuts would be George’s take on the early John Anderson hit, “Your Lying Blue Eyes”. I really like this track. Good, solid country music.
The album’s wrap-up track is also pretty decent, “Learning To Do Without Me” is pure George Jones at his best. A medium-slow song that is full of heartache, but not morbidly so. George nails it, as usual.
This album’s been out of print for several year, but you can find used copies with a little searching. Most I saw were around $10.
The title cut gets the Standout Track nod, while I have to give “Your Lying Blue Eyes” the Hidden Gem. Weakest Track? “The Second Time Around” is a pretty ordinary track, though again, with George Jones singing, it’s elevated in terms of quality. But the song, itself, is weaker than the other nine.
Overall, this is an okay, not spectacular album. After checking the release date of it, compared to it’s predecessor (Jones Country, released in October, 1983) and it’s follow-up (Ladies Choice, released in September, 1984), one has to wonder if this album was merely, at least in the eyes of Epic Records, a filler between the two, rather than release another single from Jones Country. Still, it’s not a bad album, though not nearly the best of George Jones’ extensive discography, but still worth an occasional listen. I rate it a 3 out of 5.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Greetings from Asheville, where the good music is always found. And we’ll have some great music for you, each Thursday at 4p EST, on The World Famous Ultimate Twang Radio Show, worldwide, on Asheville Free Media. Today’s Single Of The Day dips into the discography of a legend, George Jones. While the first half of the 1980’s may have been turbulent in his personal life, on the professional side, his records were doing very well. Between January, 1980 and December, 1985, George Jones would score fifteen of his seventy-eight top ten hits, with four making it to number one. Today’s single didn’t quite make it to the top, but it didn’t miss too much, checking in as high as three in the early Summer of 1984.
“You’ve Still Got A Place In My Heart” was already an old song, by this time, having been written many years earlier by the late Leon Payne. While it had been recorded numerous times, over the years, it was George Jones’ release that really brought the song it’s greatest acclaim. I first heard the song, as a young boy on Dean Martin’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 album. Dean’s version had been a single, but had missed the Pop top 40, though hitting the top ten in the Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening format. Con Hunley also had a version in 1978 that peaked at fourteen on the country charts.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Greetings from Asheville, where today’s Single Of The Day comes from the catalog of Johnny Paycheck. A regular in the upper reaches of hit-dom during much of the 1970’s, Johnny’s career actually spanned from 1965 through 1986, with thirty-eight Country 40 singles, with eleven top ten singles, and one number one.
Today’s single, “Drinkin’ And Drivin’, came along at a time when Johnny Paycheck’s career was starting to decline. His top 10 days were over and by the time another year had passed, his Country 40 days were all but through, though he did chart a couple during the 1985-86 period.
“Drinkin’ And Drivin’ was his final Country 20 solo hit (he did have one more in 1981, with George Jones on “You Better Move On”), debuting in January, 1980. The song is classic Outlaw-era Paycheck, with it’s harder-edged Country sound and it’s lyrics about drinking and driving to forget a woman (lyrics that might be considered a bit politically incorrect, today). The single would peak at seventeen.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable. Today, it’s a look back at some incredible career achievements in Country music, that, frankly, aren’t going to happen, again; or at least, very unlikely. The number one hit is something that nearly every artist, who decides to make music for a living, strives for, yet so few achieve. Almost as difficult, is the hit song. Yes, there are thousands of tracks and singles that have made the Country charts since 1944, but even that pales in comparison to the number that haven’t, not to mention the thousands of men and women who, despite their efforts, never even make it into a recording studio. With all of that, it makes these achievements even more incredible.
5. George Jones 145 Country 40 Appearances.
While it might not be completely inconceivable that George Strait could challenge this mark, I say it’s highly unlikely, given that Strait, at age 60, is sitting at 96, as of this writing. He’d have to chart 3 tracks a year for the next fourteen years, maybe a little sooner if he were to get credit as a guest on someone else’s release. George Jones, either as a solo, part of a duet, or as a guest, set this mark between 1955 and 2005, a fifty year spread. Seventy-eight of those tracks and singles made the top ten, and George is one of the very few who can lay claim to have made the Country 40 with singles that were released, during his time, on 78, 45, and CD single.
4. Kitty Wells Spends Fifteen Weeks At Number Two.
It happened in 1955, when her hit, “Making Believe” climbed to the runner-up spot, but was denied a number one placing by Webb Pierce’s “In The Jailhouse Now”, a twenty-one week number one hit. That takes us to number three.
3. A Track Spends Twenty Or More Weeks At Number One.
It’s only happened five times; “I’ll Hold You In My Heart” by Eddy Arnold, “I’m Movin’ On” by Hank Snow, and the aforementioned Webb Pierce “In The Jailhouse Now” have all claimed twenty-one weeks on top, while Ray Price’s “Crazy Arms” and Hank Snow’s “I Don’t Hurt Anymore” spent twenty. Why won’t it happen again? Well, consider that the Ray Price record was the last to do it…in 1956. The last time a record spent at least ten weeks on top was when Buck Owens’ “Love’s Gonna Live Here” topped the charts for sixteen weeks in 1963.
2. Eddy Arnold has 5 Of the Top 10 Songs.
It’s true. One week in June, 1948, The Tennessee Plowboy could count five tracks in the top ten. They included “Bouquet Of Roses”, “Anytime”, What A Fool I Was”, “I’ll Hold You In My Heart”, and “Texarkana Baby”.
1. Hank Williams Jr. Charts 9 Albums Simultaneously.
Unless Billboard changes it’s methodology, this will not happen, again, as after a certain amount of time passes, albums automatically leave the main chart for the catalog chart. But it was different in the 1980’s, when at one point, nine of Hank’s albums were on the Country charts. Others may have scored more number one singles, but when it came to selling albums and tapes, Hank Jr. was the man of the ’80’s in Country music.
There are some other interesting feats to consider, that didn’t make the top five. For instance, Eddy Arnold’s five uninterrupted number one hits in 1948, where each one replaced the previous single at the top spot. Very unlikely to happen, again, as well. There is also the year of 1960, where only five number one hits were recorded. All spending ten or more weeks at number one. Unlikely to happen again? Yes. Impossible? No. Two other marks of note, that are unlikely to fall, anytime soon, but can’t completely rule it out, are George Burns’ mark of scoring a Country 20 hit at 84 years of age, as well as Willie Nelson topping the charts at 70, courtesy of his duet with Toby Keith on “Beer For My Horses”. With Willie still around, it may be unlikely, but wouldn’t be totally shocking if he were to top either one of those marks.
Categories: History Tags: Anytime, Bouquet Of Roses, classic country, Country Music, country oldies, Eddy Arnold, George Burns, George Jones, George Strait, Hank Snow, Hank Williams Jr., History, I'll Hold You In My Heart, I'm Movin' On, Kitty Wells, Ray Price, Texarkana Baby, Webb Pierce, What A Fool I Was, Willie Nelson