That’s right. George Jones.
I learn something new about country music just about every day. I’m a sucker for diving down Internet rabbit holes. I go deep into information especially about music and country music.
But I had no idea that George recorded this song back in 1990. I knew the Blake Shelton version from 2001. I guess even Kenny Rogers covered it in 1993.
Blew my mind.
Blake’s version was a top 20 hit and one of Blake’s most memorable songs. I think he did a great job on the track. It’s fresh and the production sounds new, but then you hear the version George did and it’s pretty impressive.
George just had a storyteller’s way of putting things. You kind of feel like you’re sitting with an older guy telling you a story. You’re not sure if it’s entirely true, but you’re hanging on every word.
And in his voice you hear a little bit of “I got ya!” George always seemed to be out to get the man – whoever the man was. He seemed to get a kick out of getting one up on people. At least he had that quality in his voice.
The production on this version is pretty pulled back. It’s really just George telling a story about this prisoner and this dog and the scheme they pull off.
It’s great. Classic George.
The song was on the 1990 album You Outta Be Here. The album was George’s last on Epic, which ended a couple decade long relationship. So it was a little bit of a turning point to where George had some success in the ’90s.
Here are all three versions:
George Jones – Ol’ Red
Kenny Rogers – Ol’ Red
Blake Shelton – Ol’ Red