George Jones placed more records on the Billboard Country singles chart than any other artist, with 143 making the top-40, and 13 of those making it all the way to the top slot. We've compiled a list of his top 20 songs, ranked by overall chart performance and based on chart longevity and peak position.
From the pen of Darrell Edwards, who also co-penned Jones's 1955 breakthrough "Why Baby Why," this classic Mercury recording hit the top for seven weeks in 1961, and also achieved a position of No. 75 on the Hot 100 – one of only eleven hits by the "Possum" to do so.
She Thinks I Still Care
His debut release for United Artists, this 1962 single hit the top of the charts for six weeks. It was also one of his most covered numbers, with hits with the song also coming from Anne Murray and Elvis Presley. Watch a medley of "She Thinks I Still Care" and "White Lightning" below:
The very first number one hit for George Jones came from the pen of J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. The song also brought Jones his biggest Hot 100 success – a peak of No. 73. Incidentally, one of his future duet partners, Randy Travis, was born during the five weeks this track spent at number one.
Walk Through This World With Me
The biggest of his hits during his 1965-1971 Musicor era, this one was one of Jones' most romantic hit records, striking a strong enough chord with couples in the spring of 1967 to spend two weeks at number one.
We're Gonna Hold On
The biggest chart-hit of the Tammy Wynette musical partnership, Jones co-wrote this classic with Earl Montgomery. It spent a couple of weeks at number one in October 1973.
Already a classic thirty years before George and Tammy hit the top with this one, the record became the biggest of the post-divorce Jones & Wynette recordings – an ironic distinction given the romantic lyrics of the tune originally made famous by Francis Craig.
He Stopped Loving Her Today
The Bobby Braddock / Curly Putman composition actually lost Jones money. After recording the song, he reportedly bet producer Billy Sherrill $100 that in his words, "Nobody would buy that morbid SOB." Jones lost the bet, but gained a lot more – winning the CMA Single of the Year trophy for his performance – which hit number one on July 5, 1980.
I Always Get Lucky With You
In interviews over the years, Jones was frequently quoted as saying his favorite artist was Merle Haggard. It definitely showed up in his catalog, with Jones taking this Hag lyric to the pinnacle of the charts in July 1983 – his final trip to the top of the charts.
The Grand Tour
A classic 1974 hit for Jones, the title of this song also served as the title of his final tour, which he was in the middle of at the time of his death. The song inspired many a cover version, with perhaps the most notable being Aaron Neville's 1993 version.
Still Doin' Time
Recorded when Jones was at his lowest ebb with alcohol and drugs. Jones didn't just utter the lyrics – he devoured them note for note. After all, this song, which hit number one in late 1981, was his life with each and every line.