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"A Good Year for the Roses"
Single by George Jones
from the album George Jones with Love
B-side"Let a Little Loving Come In"
ReleasedOctober 1970
Genre Country
Label Musicor
Songwriter(s) Jerry Chesnut
Producer(s) Pappy Daily
George Jones singles chronology
"Tell Me My Lying Eyes Are Wrong"
"A Good Year for the Roses"
"Sometimes You Just Can't Win"
"Good Year for the Roses"
Single by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
from the album Almost Blue
B-side"Your Angel Steps Out Of Heaven"
ReleasedSeptember 1981
Genre Country, urban cowboy
Label F-Beat/ WEA and Columbia
Songwriter(s) Jerry Chesnut
Producer(s) Billy Sherrill
Elvis Costello singles chronology
"From a Whisper to a Scream"
"Good Year for the Roses"
"Sweet Dreams"
"A Good Year for the Roses"
Single by George Jones and Alan Jackson
from the album The Bradley Barn Sessions
B-side"High-Tech Redneck"
ReleasedNovember 1994
Genre Country
Label MCA Nashville
Songwriter(s) Jerry Chesnut
Producer(s) Brian Ahern
George Jones singles chronology
"Never Bit a Bullet Like This"
"A Good Year for the Roses"
Alan Jackson singles chronology
" Livin' on Love"
"A Good Year for the Roses"
" Gone Country"

"A Good Year for the Roses" is a ballad written by Jerry Chesnut and originally recorded by American country singer George Jones. It rose to #2 on the country singles chart in 1970.


"A Good Year for the Roses" describes the thoughts of a man as his wife leaves him, and is as good an example as any of Jones' ability to deliver an intensely moving vocal, in this case one that conveys both the sadness and profound bitterness that comes with a broken marriage. Although recorded while George was with Musicor, the production is typical of the sound Billy Sherrill would employ when Jones moved to Epic Records the following year.[ citation needed] Although supported by a choir of background singers and strings on the chorus, Jones' vocal is the centerpiece throughout, with Chris Woodstra of AllMusic calling it "one of his all-time greatest performances." [1] The lyric, infused by Jones' nuanced delivery, captures the disillusion of the narrator.

Jones recorded two versions of the song; the second can be heard on the A Good Year for the Roses: The Complete Musicor Recordings 1965-1971. Jones also cut the song with Alan Jackson as a duet in 1994 for the Bradley Barn Sessions, but was disappointed with its reception by country radio, noting in his autobiography, "Alan was white-hot on the radio, and programmers wanted his voice. But some didn't want his if they had to take mine. The vast majority of Alan's other single records have gone to number one. His duet with me was his first not to crack the top 50." [2] It actually peaked at number 57. In June 1995, the song won the Music City News Country Awards "Vocal Collaboration of the Year."[ citation needed]

Other notable recordings

Elvis Costello scored a No. 6 hit in the UK Singles Chart with the song in 1981. [3]


The video for the Elvis Costello version of the song was shot at The Meldrum House Hotel, Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire on Wednesday 29th July 1981. The band were in the north east of Scotland to appear at the Aberdeen Country and Western Club on the 30th July, with the performance to be filmed by LWT Television. [4]

Chart performance

George Jones version

Chart (1970–1971) Peak
Canada Country Tracks ( RPM) [5] 4
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles ( Billboard) [6] 12
US Hot Country Singles ( Billboard) 2

Elvis Costello version

Chart (1981–1982) Peak
Australia ( Kent Music Report) [7] 34
Belgium (Flanders) [8] 25
Netherlands [9] 11
UK Singles Chart [3] 6

George Jones and Alan Jackson version

Chart (1994) Peak
Canada Country Tracks ( RPM) [10] 65
US Hot Country Songs ( Billboard) [11] 56


  1. ^ "With Love - George Jones | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  2. ^ Jones & Carter 1997, p. 417.
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN  1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ "Almost Blue (2004) liner notes".
  5. ^ " Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 3738." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. January 16, 1971. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2005). Joel Whitburn's Top Country Songs 1944 to 2005. Record Research. p. 195.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). Sydney: Australian Chart Book. ISBN  0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ "Elvis Costello - Good Year For The Roses". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "Elvis Costello - Good Year For The Roses". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  10. ^ " Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2692." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. December 19, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  11. ^ "George Jones Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.