50 Years of Hits is a country album by George Jones who was signed to Starday Records in 1953, released his first singles in 1954, and had his first hit with "Why Baby Why'" in 1955.
Jones has recorded nearly 900 songs and made hundreds of guest appearances on other artists' albums. He continues to record new projects. Billboard Magazine states that George Jones has had more charted singles than any artist in any format of music. This collection features one song per year, representing the actual year that song was released. Most of the time, the song chosen was Jones' biggest hit of that year, but sometimes it was chosen because Jones thought it was his best song that year.
All but two of the selections are original recordings. Many of the early Starday songs were rerecordings for Epic in the 70's, and two were inserted (1967 & 1968) because Musicor/Gusto refused to allow the producers to use the originals. Jones originally recorded "Good Year for the Roses" in 1970, but a much later version with Alan Jackson is used here. The inclusion of his 1981 #1 single, "Still Doin' Time", among his mid 1960s hits is an embarrassing error given the CD's pride at presenting one hit from each year or one song from each year that George recorded. That 1981 song should have appeared on Disc 2 between "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and "Same Ole Me". Instead, on here, we have his 1982 #1 single with Merle Haggard representing the year 1981, "Yesterday's Wine". "Same Ole Me" was indeed a hit single in early 1982...but it was a hit before the duet material with Merle came along...so there are several songs that appear out of chronological order. The inclusion of a 1979 duet he recorded with Waylon Jennings, "Night Life", appears out of place as it wasn't even a single pushed at radio. The CD should have included "Someday My Day Will Come" instead to represent 1979. "Radio Lover" is another example...that song was recorded in 1983 on the album Jones Country but Epic Records released it as a single in 1989 but on here, they have it listed as a 1988 single. The big hit, if you call it that, in 1988 for George was a duet with newcomer Shelby Lynne, "If I Could Bottle This Up", that reached the Top-50 on Top Country Songs but that duet single isn't featured here.
*Compilation producer: Evelyn Shriver
*Associate producers: Susan Nadler and Michael Campbell
*Art direction: Virginia Team and Luellyn Latocki
*Design by Don Baily for Latocki Team Creative, Nashville, TN
*Compilation engineered for release by Custom Mastering, Inc.
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