He Sang the Greatest Country Music Song in History, but What Was George Jones First Number One Hit?
'He Stopped Loving Her Today' is so much more than a legendary classic country music hit. Most consider that 1980 smash the greatest country song ever. That's right, ever! In fact, last year you voted it the greatest in our cheapmlbjersey.us country song showdown. And it would be hard to disagree.
By 1980 George Jones was already a country music superstar. His great hit's (both as a solo artist and his great duets with Tammy Wynette) were played constantly on country music radio. Or rather, they were.
George's lifestyle was perhaps as well known as his voice and music. And while the Possum was still a major star, it had been about a half dozen years since he had topped the charts. 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' ended that dry spell.
But what was George's very first number one?
Well, George was 'introduced' to country music radio audiences in 1955 with his top five hit 'Why Baby Why' and over the next three years had several top ten hits.
But it would be in 1959 that George would have the first of his many, many number one's.
'White Lightning' was written by J.P. Richardson, a man you know better as 'The Big Bopper'. Yes, the same 'Big Bopper' that was killed in the plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and Richie Valens.
There are stories that George was a bit, ah, inebriated when he got to the studio to record the song, and it took 80 takes before the producer was satisfied with the vocals. Is that story true? Perhaps, perhaps not, but it's another part of the Jones 'legend'.
And here's George singing his very first number one hit, a spot it reached in April, 1959, just two short months after the death of it's writer and the 'day the music died'.