Written By: Larry Wayne Clark
How do you write a critique about the man many claim to be the greatest country singer ever to draw breath? Answer: you don’t. You simply marvel at the dozens of hits and the unforgettable artistry that turned so many of them to classics, finally adding a few more drops to the ocean of ink describing the half-century career of George Glenn Jones. All the hits are here, starting with mid-’50s honky-tonkers like “Why Baby Why” and “Tall Tall Trees” (which make us wonder sadly why Jones the songwriter laid down his pen so early).
For the country fan who thinks the last great Nashville hit was “He Stopped Loving Her Today": “George Jones: 50 Years of Hits” (Bandit, three discs, $30.98). This grand tour of Jones’ half-century career begins with 1955’s “Why Baby Why” and concludes with “Amazing Grace,” recorded for the artist’s recent gospel album. Disc No. 2 covers Jones’ 1970s glory years, but it’s the Jones-Alan Jackson duet “A Good Year for the Roses,” which shows up at the end of Disc No. 1, that will take you straight to hillbilly heaven.