Sunday, April 28, 2013

George Jones, RIP. He Had One Of The Greatest, Most Disturbing Country Hits

As anyone who follows the news knows by now, the great country legend George Jones died Friday.

He had a huge string of wonderful hits, placing an incredible 143 songs in the Billboard Top 40 Hot Country Songs over the years.
The late, great George Jones

He was famously married to the late Tammy Wynette, another of my absolute favorite country singers. Their duet, "We're Not The Jet Set," is a punny, funny classic that I'll never get sick of.

Jones and Wynette were staples on the jukebox in the neighborhood bar my father owned while I was growing up in West Rutland, Vermont. Any time I'd visit him there, chances are I'd hear George Jones crooning from that brightly lit jukebox in that dimly lit bar.

Jones' best known song, one that has often been called the greatest country song ever written and performed, is also a terribly disturbing tune, which is of course why I love it so much.

For those somehow not familiar with "He"He Stopped Loving Her Today," it was written by R.V. Braddock and C. Putnam Jr., tells the tale of a man who for decades carries a torch for a woman who left him.

Some lyrics:

"He kept picture on his wall
Went half crazy now and then
He still loved her through it all
Hoping she'd come back again."

Finally, she did come back, to reiterate the love affair was over a long time ago and would never rekindle. So we get this:

"He stopped loving her today
They placed a wreath upon his door
And soon they'll carry him away
He stopped loving her today."

Yep, after waiting for her all those years, essentially wasting his life, that last visit drove our man to suicide.

Like I said, a disturbing, sad, but brilliant country song.  Here's a YouTube clip of Jones performing "He Stopped Loving Her Today:

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