George Jones' 20 Biggest Billboard Hits
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biggest of the post-divorce Jones & Wynette recordings – an ironic distinction given the romantic lyrics of the tune originally made famous by Francis Craig.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.
Also from the pen of Bobby Braddock, while not technically the biggest chart hit Jones shared with Wynette, the staying power of this record goes without saying. Hitting number one in the late summer of 1976, you can – even today - go by any club in Nashville where a male and female performer are sharing the stage – and you just might hear this one.
Topping the charts in 1982, this song ties together three members of the Country Music Hall of Fame – Willie Nelson (the writer), Jones, and his duet partner – Merle Haggard. Jones and Haggard also enjoyed another top ten hit together, "C.C. Waterback."
Producer Billy Sherrill and Norro Wilson penned this record for Jones, which served as one of his most dramatic performances. It hit number one in early 1975, becoming his last solo chart-topper before 1980's "He Stopped Loving Her Today."
She's My Rock
In the mid 1980s, Jones went through a brief phase where he covered other artists a bit more frequently. From that time period came this take on Brenda Lee's "He's My Rock." The spent three weeks at No. 2 on the chart in the fall of 1984, with many claiming that his inspiration in recording the song was his relationship with wife Nancy.
I'll Share My World With You
Ben Wilson penned this song of love for Jones, which spent two weeks at No. 2 in 1969.
When The Grass Grows Over Me
While it just missed the number one position on the singles chart, this record earned its' writer, Don Chapel, a CMA Song of the Year nomination in the fall of 1969. Interestingly enough, Chapel was the ex-husband of Tammy Wynette – who married Jones during the chart run of this song.
The Window Up Above
A No. 2 record for Jones from 1961, it was one of just a handful of his records that his name is listed as the sole writer. The song had another life in the 1970s, when Mickey Gilley took it to No. 1 in 1975.
Dean Dillon has written countless hits for the "other" George – Strait, but the prolific composer did give Jones one of his biggest hits of the 1980s, a No. 2 record from the fall of 1983 that was definitely one of the most original ways to say 'I love you.'
I'm Not Ready Yet
The follow up to "He Stopped Loving Her Today," Tom T Hall's lyrics helped to give Jones one of his best remembered songs, peaking at # 2 in the fall of 1980.
A Good Year For The Roses
In 1971, Jones took this Jerry Chesnut composition to No. 2 on the charts. It became the favorite of many a Jones fan, including Alan Jackson – who re-cut the song with Jones for 1994's "The Bradley Barn Sessions." Though the re-recording only made it to No. 56, it did earn the pair a TNN / Music City News Award in June 1995.