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6 Classic Recordings That Have No Business Existing (Part Two)

More beloved records that were made under bizarre circumstances.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

February 26, 2013 - 7:00 am
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 #1 — “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (1980) by George Jones

Legend has it that George Jones — the Keith Richards of country — was so drunk and stoned during the recording of this song that his daily sessions only resulted in the shortest of usable takes — a phrase here, a note there — and that it took the producer over a year to literally glue them together to create what’s been called “the greatest country record of all time.”

As Jones himself recalled:

The narration part of the song consists of four lines Jones speaks rather than sings: “She came to see him one last time/And we all wondered if she would/And it kept running through my mind/This time he’s over her for good.”

“Pretty simple, eh?” Jones asks in his book. “I couldn’t get it. I had been able to sing while drunk all of my life. I’d fooled millions of people. But I could never speak without slurring when drunk. What we needed to complete that song was the narration, but Billy could never catch me sober enough to record four simple spoken lines. It took us about 18 months to record a song that was approximately three-minutes long.”

Decades later, when Jack Isenhour literally wrote the book about this storied song and the sessions that captured it on vinyl, he looked into that claim.

Isenhour was stuck comparing “the eyewitnesses with the paperwork” from the recording studio, that put the actual time at one month, not one year. Is the jury still out?

Does it matter?

Millions who’ve wept along to this record would say no, assuming they even know the story behind it in the first place.

But I think it does.

If you imagine this miraculous song being spliced together a few inches at a time, the end product is all the more extraordinary.

“A lot of people tried to copy what Billy did,” Bradley says, “and they’d hire that studio, they’d hire the same engineer, and they’d hire the same musicians and background singers, but they wouldn’t get it, because they were listening to the end result, and the end result was what you heard after you walked the path to get there.

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Previously from Kathy Shaidle at PJ Lifestyle:

3 Tips for ‘Owning’ Your Name on Google’s First Page Results

The 3 Best Monty Python Sketches (Aren’t Necessarily the Funniest)

Grown Men Don’t Read Comic Books: Here’s an Alternative (That Might Just Save America)

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(KATHY SHAIDLE is a blogging pioneer who runs FiveFeetOfFury, now in its 14th year. She's been called "one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our time," by MARK STEYN. Her NEW book is Confessions of A Failed Slut (Thought Catalog, 2014).

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All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" was one of my favorite songs from the 60's and "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is maybe the best tear jerking feel sorry for yourself song about unrequited love ever recorded.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The ironic thing is, probably the best known version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" is Joan Baez' cover.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ugh. BTO was (is) god-awful.
There isn't much (besides rap) that can make me change radio stations faster than "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" with it's rip-off of The Who's stutter from "My Generation," made all the worse by the singer's nasal delivery.

I saw them in concert once when they were opening for Van Halen (this was a long time ago). Seeing three fat beer guts rolling around the stage didn't improve my opinion, especially when they were barely competent at playing that three-chord garbage.

And before I forget, the Guess Who sucked, too.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm confused. The Band recorded their album in Woodstock, New York. which was a "15-minute drive from where Sharon Tate got murdered?" The SR-71 Blackbird couldn't get cross-country that fast!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Only Radar Love is a worse expression of pop trash than Takin' Care of Business. Bachmann was a fine song writer and the Guess Who were never the same after he left, but for me, this is not a shining moment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Lists like this are the work of writers who have too much content to put out and nothing to say. It must be tough being part of the same Blog as Richard Fernandez and Victor Davis Hanson who never lack interesting ideas.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
American Woman really pisses me off. It fully encapsulates the the hypocrisy of anti-Americans.

You don't like America, then fine, don't tour here. Don't license your music to play on American radio stations.

But hey, wait, I guess you do need America after all.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Listening to The band is slow death by monotony- this is the "music" you get by encouraging heroin addicts.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Enjoyed Bachman very much. Excellent raconteur. It is nice to hear that special ed teachers benefit from his fine song -- TCB.

I have always their music with Motorcycle Clubs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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