George Jones performs “The Race Is On” On The Jimmy Dean Show 1965.

The recording of George imbued 'The Race Is On' with a masterfully frantic and avant-garde vocal reading, full of moody emotional ambivalence and simulated sadness. The song would arrive at the position number 3 of the lists of US Hot Country Songs.

YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel
YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel

The Race Is On:

Lp Cover George Jones ( UAR 1964 )
Lp Cover George Jones ( UAR 1964 )

Song written by Don Rollins, was recorded for the first time by George Jones, for the label United Artist in June 1963, with the production of Pappy Daily, was released on September 26, 1964. The song would arrive at the position number 3 of the lists of US Hot Country Songs.

“The Race Is On” would be included on the album, I Get Lonely In A Hurry (United Artist 1964), the album would be released in November 1964.

Single cover Jack Jones ( Knapp 1965 )
Single cover Jack Jones ( Knapp 1965 )

In 1965 Jack Jones, also recorded a version that was very successful, but on pop charts, reaching the number 15 position.

Don Rollins wrote the song one day after visiting Turf Paradise Race Course in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jones heard the song for the first time, when Dewey Groom played the song in his office at the Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas. Jones heard the opening line and exclaimed: “I’ll take it!” The singer in that 1961 demo recording was Jimmie Gray, for whom Don Rollins wrote the song. Gray’s version is a whole step higher than Jones’ version, and led George to look for him. The two became friends, Jimmie finally came to George’s band, with bass and high harmony, and Jimmie was in the studio when George cut his success.

Lp Cover George Jones ( UAR 1965 )
Lp Cover George Jones ( UAR 1965 )

The recording of George imbued ‘The Race Is On’ with a masterfully frantic and avant-garde vocal reading, full of moody emotional ambivalence and simulated sadness. Bending and cheerfully stretching the notes and singing, sometimes slightly ahead or behind The song’s fast beat, embellished it with a subtle tension and release feeling that perfectly complemented the fast cascading effect of the lyrics of the song.

 

Single Waylon Jennings ( A&M Records 1964 )
Single Waylon Jennings ( A&M Records 1964 )

Versions:

Waylon Jennings 1964 (A & M Records
Jack Jones 1965 (Kapp Records)
Loretta Lynn 1965 (Decca)
Kitty Wells 1965 (Decca)
Del Reeves 1965 (United Artists Records)
Leroy Van Dyke 1966 (Warner)
Conway Twitty 1975 (MCA)
Faron Young 1987 (Deluxe Records)

Single Sawyer Brown ( Capitol 1989 )
Single Sawyer Brown ( Capitol 1989 )

Sawyer Brown 1989 (Capitol)
Johnny Paycheck 1996 (K-Tel Records)
Georgette Jones 2010 (Heart of Texas Records)
Sammy Kershaw 2014 (Big Hit Records)
James Carothers 2018 (Renegade Montain Record

George Jones – The Race Is On Lyrics

I feel tears wellin’ up cold and deep inside
Like my heart’s sprung a big break
And the stab of loneliness, sharp and painful
That I may never shake
Now you might say that I was taking it hard
Since you wrote me off with a call
But don’t you wager that I’ll hide the sorrow
When I may break right down and bawl

Now the race is on and here comes pride up the backstretch
Heartaches are going to the inside
My tears are holding back
They’re trying not to fall
My heart’s out of the running
True love’s scratched for another’s sake
The race is on and it looks like heartaches
And the winner loses all

One day I had ventured in love, never once suspecting
What the final results would be
How I lived in fear of waking up each morning
And finding that you’d gone from me
There’s aching and pain in my heart
For the day was the one that I hated to face
Somebody new came up to win her
And I came out in second place

Now the race is on and here comes pride up the backstretch
Heartaches are going to the inside
My tears are holding back
They’re trying not to fall
My heart’s out of the running
True love’s scratched for another’s sake
The race is on and it looks like heartaches
And the winner loses all

Single George Jones ( UAR 1964 )
Single George Jones ( UAR 1964 )

Miquel Batlle
mbatllegarriga@gmail.com