In this week's episode, we're featuring high-top mid-60s George Jones at his best. Just for kicks, we're playing his fourth album for Musicor "Love Bug" (1966) in it's entirety. After signing with Musicor Records in the spring of 1965, Jones went right to work and his first three singles went Top 10 for his new backers: "Things Have Gone To Pieces", "Love Bug" and "Take Me". Less than a year into his contract, Jones released our feature album (already his fourth at that label), and the "Love Bug" LP contained all three of those first singles - the second album to contain all three after 1965's "New Country Hits". That workrate, and the fact that Jones would record an album in sometimes less than a week during that period (occasionally in as little as three hours by Jones' own admission) lead some fans to label his Musicor output as rushed and underproduced. And while it's true that nine of the twelve "Love Bug" tracks, recorded in under seven days in June of 1966, were contemporary covers - Jones' trademark country yowl is in career-best form. Featuring Johnny Paycheck on vocals for some of the tracks, there's nothing cheap about a frenetic version of "Six Days On The Road"; a cover of Warner Mack's "The Bridge Washed Out" that makes you think The Possum could've done that song himself; and the pure sorrow of "Blue Side Of Lonesome" and Cliff Bruner's "Unfaithful One" is vintage Jones. Maybe it felt rushed at the time, but George Jones' Musicor era makes for solid country gold listening fifty plus years later.
George Jones - Love Bug
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