George Jones Honored for Unexpected Hit
George Jones' classic hit, 'He Stopped Loving Her Today,' is joining an elite list of recordings, thanks to its recent induction into the National Recording Registry. Voted on by the Library of Congress, this year's entries also include 'At Last' by Etta James, 'Tom Dooley' by the Kingston Trio, 'The Who Sings My Generation' by The Who, as well as the infamous speech, 'Sinews of Peace' by Winston Churchill.
George certainly didn't expect this honor when he recorded the song almost 30 years ago.
"To be honest with you, I thought it was too sad,"' the country legend told The Boot in our exclusive interview. "I took a copy of the tape with me and carried it with me almost a year before I recorded it. But it was on my mind everyday. So (my producer) Billy Sherrill said, 'Let's just go ahead and cut it anyhow.' And he bet me $100 that it would be a hit. And I said, 'Well I can't lose either way! But I don't think it will be a hit. It's too sad.' But how wrong can you be?"
Pretty wrong! 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' not only reached the top of the charts, it also won Song of the Year from the Country Music Association and both Song and Single of the Year from the Academy of Country Music. It won a Grammy and was named one of the 500 greatest country singles of all time in the 2003 book, 'Heartaches By The Number.'
Past country recordings inducted into the National Recording Registry include 'Foggy Mountain Breakdown' by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, 'Crazy' by Patsy Cline, 'Lovesick Blues' by Hank Williams, and 'It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels' by Kitty Wells.