Flashback: See George Jones Perform First Chart-Topper 'White Lightning'

Fifty-six years ago today, George Jones landed his first Number One hit with "White Lightning," a revved-up tribute to a vice that would follow him for most of his life: alcohol.
Appropriately, when Jones showed up to Owen Bradley's Quonset Hut Studio to record the song, he was seriously buzzed. It was February 1959, and the man who'd written "White Lightning" — J.P. Richardson, known to rock & roll fans as the Big Bopper — had died one week earlier in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. Everyone in the Quonset Hut was still reeling from the loss of those three icons, and they hoped "White Lightning" could serve as some sort of last-minute tribute to the Big Bopper. Producer Buddy Killen had even put together an A-list studio band for the occasion, with Pig Robbins on piano and Floyd Jenkins on guitar.



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