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Trivia / George Jones

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  • Breakthrough Hit: "White Lightning".
  • Chart Displacement:
    • "Why Baby Why" only got to #4, and despite versions by Red Sovine (featuring Webb Pierce) and Charley Pride both hit #1 in later years, the song is still seen mainly as Jones's.
    • Other popular hits of his that didn't get to #1 include "The Race Is On" (#3), "A Good Year for the Roses" (#2), "Tennessee Whiskey" (#2), "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" (#3), and "The One I Loved Back Then (The Corvette Song)" (#3).
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    • "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair" only got to #34, due in part to Jones being 61 when he released it, but the song remained popular long after the fact due to the presence of ten other country stars performing a call-and-response on the final chorus.
    • "Choices" was Jones' penultimate top-40 hit, only reaching #30 in 1999. However, the song remained in the spotlight due to critical acclaim for its stark I Hate Past Me lyrics resonating so well after Jones' drunk-driving charges earlier in the year. Also boosting its profile was the controversy that ensued when the Country Music Association would only allow Jones to perform an abridged version of the song, to which Jones responded by refusing to attend the award ceremony. After Alan Jackson caught wind of this, he interrupted his own CMA performance of "Pop a Top" to sing the chorus of "Choices" before storming offstage in protest.
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    • His cover of Earl Thomas Conley's "Finally Friday" (the B-side of "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair") was never a single in its own right, but became a popular choice for stations to play during drive time on Fridays.
  • Died During Production: Despite scheduling his last concert for November 2013, he died in April 2013 at the age of 81 during his final tour.
  • Fan Nickname: "The Possum" and "No-Show Jones." The former got a Shout-Out in "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair."
  • Old Shame: He recorded some rockabilly records in the fifties as "Thumper" Jones, and has openly admitted to these being an old shame.
  • One-Take Wonder: Producer Pappy Daily recorded eighty takes of "White Lightning" but chose to use the first one because it was the best sounding despite an inxoticated Jones stumbling over a line.
  • Reality Subtext: Even at the time they were released, it was hard for people not to see all those torch songs and songs about failed marriages as comments on his relationship with Tammy Wynette. The fact that she performed with him on several of them did nothing to discourage that speculation.
    • According to songwriter Bobby Braddock, "Her Name Is" was based on his own relationship with a then-married woman who would eventually divorce and become his second wife. Braddock denies that he wrote "He Stopped Loving Her Today" about anyone specific, but his first wife would tell people it was about her.
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  • Screwed by the Lawyers: His 1989 single "The King Is Gone (So Are You)" was originally titled "Ya Ba Da Ba Do (So Are You)", but Hanna-Barbera insisted that the title be changed.
  • Technology Marches On: "High-Tech Redneck" falls victim to this. Released in 1993, the song lists off the numerous ways the titular redneck employs then-state-of-the-art technology to further his hillbilly lifestyle, including watching sports on his big-screen TV with stereo sound, listening to country music via cassette (already outdated, as CDs had outstripped cassette sales by that time), and calling up his baby on his cellular phone. It can be argued that the song becomes funnier as the eponymous redneck's tech becomes increasingly outdated.
  • Throw It In!: George was drunk when recording "White Lightning" and noticeably stumbles over the line "He took one slug".


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