I have neglected to talk about this on the show (until tonight), but the music world has lost one of its true pioneers in George Jones. A lot of people have written George Jones off because they don’t like country, but to do so is a drastic mistake. Great music is great music, and few have done it better — or ever will — than “The Possum”. Tonight’s list includes six of Jones’ greatest selections. If you’re not familiar with the man’s music, change that. Immediately.
1. The Race Is On (1964)
A country song covered by The Grateful Dead? Believe it or not, this happened over thirty years ago. Aside from Sawyer Brown’s chart-topping cover, Jones’ version is the essential recording. This song, much like many of his other recordings, tells the story of a lost love, though in a bit snappier fashion.
2. The Grand Tour (1974)
So many talk about He Stopped Loving Her Today as Jones’ true masterpiece (more on this song later), but many (myself included) would argue that he was never better than he was on this track. This 3:05 look into a shattered marriage is as vivid and heartbreaking as anything ever put to record, and Jones just sings the ever-loving hell out of it. The listener lives through the pain right along with Jones, resulting in his most powerful record.
3. (We’re Not) The Jet Set (1974)
This duet with fellow legend Tammy Wynette was one of Jones’ funnier songs, but it had pretty amazing staying power. The Bobby Braddock-penned waltz ended up in a Chevrolet commercial some 30 years after its release, and still draws laughs for its lines “our steak and martinis / is draft beer with weenies / our Bach and Tchaikovsky / is Haggard and Husky“, indicating that one doesn’t have to live in an exotic locale or experience the high life to be committed to each other.
4. He Stopped Loving Her Today (1980)
Even if you don’t know George Jones’ music, chances are pretty good that you know this song. You also probably know the story behind the song — a man commits himself to a woman until he dies, then finally gets over her for good when he passes. The song was somewhat typical of the state of country in the late ’70s and early ’80s; most people had come to think of country as twangy, whiny schmaltz, and to those people, this song didn’t change anything. I’m clearly in the minority in not thinking this is his absolute best song, but it is certainly in that discussion. Jones apparently agreed with me, though, as he reportedly said of the song, “Nobody’ll buy that morbid son of a bitch”.
5. Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes? (1985)
Though his own demise was still nearly three decades away, Jones took the opportunity to somewhat eulogize country as a genre through song. The song, though seen as overdone and sappy by some, proved to be rather prescient. Country became dominated short years later by “hat rock” artists, dooming much of the previous generation to the discount bin and legends tours. As cheesy as it may be to some, Jones’ passing led many back to this track, mainly to ask the same question this song did.
6. A Good Year For The Roses (1971/1994)
Nobody sang of love lost better than George Jones, and this definitive version of his 1971 #2-charting classic involves someone who idolized Jones, Alan Jackson. Though Jones did not actually write this song (Jerry Chesnut did), he takes it as his own. This version appears on Jones’ 1994 compilation The Bradley Barn Sessions, on which Jones “reimagined” many of his previous releases with other stars from several genres. Many saw Jackson as one of the few modern acts with ties to those artists in Jones’ generation, and in listening to this performance, it’s easy to understand why this is the case.
OK, so here’s what you need to know about the Sixer:
- It’s still free.
- You’ll have a little longer each week to pick games.
- This is easier for scorekeeping, and therefore, for my sanity.
- We’ll still do the guaranteed loser as we did before, unless you guys would rather pick the score of a random game at the same site.
- There’s the possibility of a prize at the end of the proverbial rainbow. This show is non-profit and I’m still quite in the hole financially since I started the thing, so it won’t be huge, but something’s better than nothing, no?
Here’s how you do this. It’s (relatively) easy.
- Visit this link. Click “Create An Account” on the left. If that’s too much work, try clicking here.
- Good, you have an account! Click “Join a Pool” on the tabs at the top of the screen.
- Here’s what you need to make sure to put in on the next screen:
- Pool Type: College Football Pick’em
- Pool Name: The Sixer
- Password: matters
- Selection Name: Your first name – Please. Indulge me on this. It makes it easier for keeping score.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and sign up as soon as you can so I know you’re all participating.
Muchas gracias, and good luck!
Yeah, so it’s been a while since I regularly published this list. Therefore, you get a BONUS list this week!
One of the best things about the 80s is the cheesy/awesome ballads that went along with all the wonderful soundtracks of the decade. Today, I give you six of the cheesiest/most awesome of the bunch…after the jump.
With the Olympics having just wrapped, we were subjected to British acts like Jessie J and The Spice Girls, among others. I didn’t actually watch the closing ceremonies, because I knew it would just make me angry. I got the urge, instead, to share with you some of my favorite British bands. Some of these bands actually played at the Olympics, but I would rather subject you to them than the rubbish they trotted out in “celebration”.
If you’re a Facebook friend of mine, chances are you may have seen the “Do Not Never Ever Buy List” that was compiled by a Chicago used CD store. This was mostly comprised of things they couldn’t sell. My challenge today is to put together six good songs using that list. Keep in mind, some of these may be somewhat loose interpretations, since they made it that way themselves.
No show this week, as you guys know, but I still offer you this list.
This is a collection of six songs I’ve heard as I’ve exited ballparks. Not the most original, but here goes.