He Stopped Loving Her Today

Album: I Am What I Am (1980)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about a man whose love goes away, but his love for her never dies, until the day that he himself dies - that's the day he stops loving her.
  • This was Jones' comeback song after years of trouble with the law and addiction. He got a big career boost when it won for Single of the Year at the CMA awards and took a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
  • CMT named this the second-best country song of all-time. The #1 country song of all-time as named by CMT was Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Julian - Oakland, AR, for all above
  • When George Jones recorded this song, he didn't believe it was a hit, and he wasn't shy at telling his producer Billy Sherrill so. "I looked Billy square in the eye and said, 'Nobody will buy that morbid son of a bitch,'" the Nashville star recalled in his autobiography, I Lived to Tell It All.

    But Jones changed his mind once this became a hit. "To put it simply, I was back on top," the Opry member wrote. "Just that quickly. I don't want to belabor this comparison, but a four-decade career was salvaged by a three-minute song."
  • This was written by country songwriters Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman, who wrote Tammy Wynette's #1 hit "D-I-V-O-R-C-E." Braddock came up with the idea for the song, which he says was probably inspired by his love for his second wife, but he doesn't admire the narrator. "It's the story of a man whose love was so strong that the only way he could get over this woman was to die. I think he was a terrible role model, a very bad role model. The man was obsessed with this woman and he never got over. He never moved on," he told NPR. "I thought it was just an okay song. I didn't think it was that great a song. And when the producer Billy Sherrill played me George's recording of it, I went, 'Wow, this is something really great.' And I think in this instance, the artist and the production elevated the song to a place that it wouldn't have been otherwise. I really attribute so much of the success of this to George Jones and his producer. Because after I heard it, I realized then it was indeed something very special."

Comments: 14

  • Tim from Columbus, OhioA truly great song, when I first heard it I was in my car and had to pull over as I cried my eyes out.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaJohn from Texas, I almost wished they still did that practice. after watching my late mom get ripped off after my dad died, I have warned other friends who when someone in the family dies to watch out for that kind of thing. Sadly some of those who practice this are Funeral Parlors. also I was never a big fan of George or the song, but as I was reading these letters, i can say that it reminds me of a good friend I had years ago(and not in a sexual way) who died in a Tanker Truck Explosion. Yes I never got over his death in some ways, so Chris I never stopped loving you and won't tell I die.
  • Brad from Las Vegas, NvCovered by Alan Jackson during George Jones' 80th birthday bash and funeral service.
  • Andy from San Antonio, TxThe song could not have won "Song of the Year" in 1979 and 1980 because it was not released until April 1980. It won CMA Song of the Year in 1980 and 1981. Jones hated the song initially. He wrote in his autobiography, "I looked Billy square in the eye and said, 'Nobody will buy that morbid son of a bitch.' Then I marched out the studio door."
  • Camille from Toronto, OhThe classic country song. Sad, simple, pull-on-your-heartstrings lyrics with a what is called "the story line hook"; you have to listen to the words to figure out why 'today' was the day 'he stopped loving her'. I wasn't a country music fan in 1980 when this was popular, but about ten years later I began to tune in more to the genre, and have grown to appreciate what a great song this is. As it could be about anyone from any walk of life is one reason it's so great.
  • Danielle from Mojave, CaThis song is so powerful it's ridiculouse. I recenlty lost my first love, and best friend to a suicide. He told everyone that he would never stop loving me, up umtil the day he passed. And everytime I hear this song I still break down a little. Ill be having the notes to this song tattooed on my in his honor. Such an amazing piece.
  • Carrie from Dover, OhThis is the song of my life. Everyone who knows me will agree. My High school sweetheart whom I dated for 5-6 years and was engaged to but nver married never got over me which he let everyone know including the women he finially married 15 years later. He told her she never had to worry about him because the only women he would ever cheat on her with or leave her for was me. But he knew I would never do that so she didn't have to worry. In fact when he was in an accident that killed at age 42 I was the first person she called because she didn't want me to see it in the paper. And yes I went to the funeral. Strangley enough I broke off our engagement in 1979. Shortly before this song came out.It haunts me to this day. Surprisingly I never stopped loving him either. I wanted it that way because I knew if we went on and married the love would end.
  • Stormy from Kokomo, InI'm not a big country fan, but this song always brings tears to my eyes. I'm sure that we all have that one true love that, for some reason, the love affair just didn't work out, but thru our lives, looking back, we always wished that it would have. My great love was Diane "Di" Wilson Peterson. Knowing that this guy in the song finally quit loving his one great love because he died just really gets to me!
  • Matt from Anderson, ScPretty simple concept here folks. His wife left him he never stopped loving her just like he said. Loved her til the day he died. The song touches on heartbreak, and true love.
  • Mark from Byrdstown, TnIn his autobiography George Jones said when he recorded the song he was drunk and when it came to the spoken part he had to do it over 4 times before he got it right.
    Just before he recorded this song George had been sleeping in his car in a hotel parking lot...couldnt even pay his hotel bill and was booted after bottoming out on dope and alcohol.This song won song of the year in 1979 AND 1980 and the rest ,as they say ,is history.

    George is so grateful to his fans for sticking by him and shows it in every concert he gives.Ive seen him several times in concert and he has THE country voice of ALL time.The Ol' Possum is a good'en!
  • John from San Antonio, TxSorry, Don, but Mike is right. The song has nothing to do with Tammy. George was somewhat reluctant to do the song at first because he thought it too sad for commercial success. As for the wreath - the reference is to a past custom of placing a wreath (often black) on the door of the house to indicate that someone had died. It would discourage salespeople from encroaching on the grief of those in the house.
  • Karen from Rolling Hills Estates, CaWe have discussed the lyrics, "placed a wreath upon his door" many times, w/ differing opinions. Does anyone know the intended truth? Is the wreath being placed on the door to his home, or on the door to his casket?
  • Mike Bradley from Rome, GaNo, it is not about George and Tammy. It was written by Curly Putnam and Bobby Braddock, not George. It was taken from an idea that one of them got at a funeral, when they saw person who was never "dressy" in a suit in the casket. One of them made the remark, "he is all dressed up to go away". The song emerged from that comment.
  • Don from Orlando, FlInterestingly enough, this song is about tammy wynette. they had a very tumultuous relationship and it has been rumored that "stand by your man" was a comment on tammy staying with george through all his bad years... until she left him. thus the song "he stopped loving her today".
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