“A Good Year for the Roses”, a song written by Jerry Chesnut, was recorded by George Jones for the Musicor label on February 26, 1970, at RCA Victor Studio, 800 17th Ave. South, Nashville, TN, on it The recording session was also recorded, “Leaning on the shoulder of love”, in the recording session George was accompanied by: Charles Carter (guitar), Charles Justice (guitar), Jerry Shook (guitar), Sonny Curtis and Weldon Myrick (steel), Bob Moore, James Hollie and Joseph Zinkan (bass), Kenneth Buttrey (drums), Buddy Spicher (fiddle), Larry Butler and Hargus Robbins (piano). With Bob Moore’s production, the song was released in October 1970 On January 9, 1971, it reached number #2 on the charts of U.S Hot Country Songs, remaining on the charts for a total of 15 weeks. And on the charts of Canada Country Tracks, he reached number #4.
The song was included in George Jones’ forty-fifth studio album, George Jones with love (Musicor 1970), the album was released in February 1971, reaching # 9 on the US Top Country Albums charts on April 16 of 1971, and remaining on the charts a total of 16 weeks.
In autumn of 1994, GeorgeJones again recorded another version, duo to Alan Jackson, for the MCA label, the song was released in November 1994, and included in the album, The Bradley Barn Sessions (MCA 1994).
Story behind the song:
Jerry Chesnut explains, When bought a home on Old Hickory Lake in Tennessee, I’ve planted Hybrid Tea Roses along the walk and lovingly nurtured them until they were killed by an unseasonably wet spring. He was told, “It’s just not been a good year for roses”.
Later, when he moved out to a farm, his memories of the doomed flowers led him to write this song. He explained in an interview with Nashville Songwriters Association: “I got to thinking about those roses. ‘I wonder if they’d have done good if I’d brought them out here? … What if it’d been a good year for roses, but everything else was going to pot? If the man’s wife was leaving, the baby’s crying, and the dog’s died? The whole world’s going to pot, but the roses are just blooming like crazy. ‘ I just started writing the song like that. “
About the song:
“A good year for roses” describes a man’s thoughts as his wife prepares to leave him, and is an example as good as any of Jones’ ability to deliver an intensely touching voice, in this case one that conveys sadness and Deep bitterness that comes with a broken marriage. Although it was recorded while George was with Musicor, the production is typical of the sound Billy Sherrill would use when Jones moved to Epic Records the following year. (Citation needed) Although with the support of a choir of background singers and strings in the choir, Jones’s voice is the centerpiece at all times, with Chris Woodstra of AllMusic calling him “one of his best performances of all time”.
Miki and Griff 1973 (PYE Records)
Elvis Costello 1981 (F-Beat)
Dino Lee 1985 (New Rose)
Lorrie Morgan & Sammy Kershaw 1994 (BNA)
George Jones & Alan Jackson 1994 (MCA)
Heidi Hauge 2002 (Showtime Records)
And some more ….