“Love Bug”, a song written by Wayne Kemp and Curtis Wayne, was recorded for the first time by George Jones for the Musicor label, it was recorded three times, the first on March 31, 1965, and the second on April 8, 1965, the definitive recording was the one that was recorded on June 14, 1965, at Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN. The song was released in August 1965, produced by Pappy Daily. On November 6, 1965, the song reached number # 6 on the US Hot Country Songs charts, remaining a total of 18 weeks on the charts.
George Jones re-recorded it as a duo with Vince Gill in the fall of 1994, for the album, The Bradley Barn Sessions (MCA 1994), released on October 11, 1994.
The song was included on the album, New Country Hits (Musicor 1965), the album was released in July 1965, on December 11, 1965, it reached number # 5 on the US Top Country Albums charts, remaining a total of 15 weeks on the charts. Lovebug, re-released on the album of the same name, Lovebug (Musicor 1966), the album was released in February 1966, and on April 9, 1966, it reached number # 7 on the US Top Country Albums charts and remaining a total of 14 weeks on charts.
Another successful version of Lovebug was the one recorded by George Strait for the MCA label on April 19, 1993, and was released on February 28, 1994, reaching number # 8 on the US Hot Country Songs charts and No. # 9 on the Canada Country Tracks charts.
About the song:
“Love Bug” was written by Wayne Kemp and Curtis Wayne. Lyrically, the song celebrates the giddiness of new love that’s “got the whole world shook up”. Musically, the song is an unmistakable nod to the Bakersfield sound, from the treble on the guitars to George’s elongated delivery at the start, “Oh … that … little bitty teeny weeny thing they call the love bug,” which is reminiscent of Owens hits like “Love’s Gonna Live Here” and “I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail”. Several alternate takes of the song can be heard on the Jones box set Walk Through This World with Me: The Complete Musicor Recordings 1965-1971, including a version with an overdriven electric guitar solo and harmonica that makes it sound more like a Rolling Stones record of the time than either Nashville or Bakersfield.
Jack Jones 1965 (Kapp Records)
Del Reeves 1965 (United Artists Records)
Nev Nicholls & the Country Playboys 1970 (du Monde)
George Strait 1993 (MCA)
George Jones & Vince Gill 1994 (MCA)
Mick Flavin 1994 (Ritz Records)
Adam Harvey 2003 (ABC)
Duane Steele 2019 (DSM) Live
Miquel Batlle Garriga