This George Jones Song Was A Middle Finger to His Record Label
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The Story Behind George Jones’ “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair”
The lyrics in “I Don’t Need Your Rockin Chair” seem to make a pretty clear statement: that age would not keep George “The Possum” Jones down. However, the writers of the song reveal that there is a bigger story behind the tune.
Songwriters Billy Yates, Frank Dycus, and Kerry Kurt worked with Jones to write the song in 1992. Jones shared with them that the year prior, he had recorded a duet with Dolly Parton called “Rockin Years.” Jones had high hopes for the song and believed it would be a huge hit.
George Jones Was Removed From A Duet With Dolly Parton
Despite Jones’ passion for “Rockin Years” the record label did not believe that he was the right fit for the male vocal and ultimately took his voice off the track entirely, re-recording the part with newcomer Ricky Van Shelton. Jones saw this as a blatant knock to his age and relevancy and even left the record label as a result of the insulting move.
“So when he said, ‘let’s write a song, I don’t need your rocking chair,’ I knew to George that was also gonna mean ‘I don’t need your rockin’ years… And I knew he’d love it if we got it right,” Yates recalled in an interview.
“I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair,” Became an Iconic Moment in Country Music History
The music video for the song features George Jones and George Foreman seated on rocking chairs in the middle of a boxing ring. It is not difficult to read between the lines of the conversation that ensues:
Jones: “Hey George ole pal?”
Foreman: “Yeah, George?”
Jones: “George you think we’re getting a little old for this kinda business?”
Foreman: “Here I am knocking all the young kids down, and there you are packing all the young kids in, night after night! We’re the best rockers in the business!”
Unanimous: “We’re not ready for the rockin’ chair yet!”
Watch the music video for “I Don’t Need Your Rockin Chair” below!