Music

'Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes': The Story Behind George Jones' Nostalgic Hit

NASHVILLE - 1999: Country Music Singer Songwriter George Jones performs at Fanfair in 1999 in Nashville, Tennessee (photo by Beth Gwinn/Getty Images)

What's better than a country music legend? A country music legend singing about other country music legends. George Jones' "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" sings of the great Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Roy Acuff, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, Hank Williams, Marty Robbins, and Lefty Frizzell and ponders who's gonna take their place when they're gone.

The song was written by Troy Seals and Max D. Barnes and released as the first single and title track from the album Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes. The song peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

Jones revealed in his 1994 Golden Hits documentary, "Troy Seals wrote that... Songwriters were bringin' things in and we were listening to songs and tapes, and Troy came in and told Billy [Sherrill, producer] and me that he had this idea, and he sung a little bit of the chorus. He came back about ten o'clock or eleven the next morning before we went in to do our session at two o'clock, he had it all finished and it just knocked us out."

Jones is known for his classic country hits such as "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "The Corvette Song," "The Race Is On," "A Whole Lot of Trouble for You" and "Why Baby Why."

'Whose Gonna Fill Their Shoes' Lyrics:

You know this old world is full of singers
But just a few are chosen to tear your heart out when they sing
Imagine life without 'em, all your radio heroes
Like the outlaw that walks through Jesse's dream

No, there'll never be another Red-Headed Stranger
A Man in Black and Folsom Prison Blues
The Okie from Muskogee or Hello Darling
Lord, I wonder who's gonna fill their shoes

Who's gonna fill their shoes? Who's gonna stand that tall?
Who's gonna play the Opry and the Wabash Cannonball?
Who's gonna give their heart and soul to get to me and you?
Lord, I wonder, who's gonna fill their shoes?

God bless the boys from Memphis, Blue Suede Shoes, and Elvis
Much too soon he left this world in tears
They tore up the Fifties, old Jerry Lee, and Charlie
And Go Cat Go still echoes through the years

You know the heart of country music still beats in Luke the Drifter
You can tell it when he sang, "I saw the light"
Old Marty, Hank, and Lefty why I can feel them right here with me
On this Silver Eagle rolling through the night

Who's gonna fill their shoes? Who's gonna stand that tall?
Who's gonna play the Opry and the Wabash Cannonball?
Who's gonna give their heart and soul to get to me and you?
Lord, I wonder, who's gonna fill their shoes?
Yes, I wonder, who's gonna fill their shoes?

Related Videos

recommended for you

'Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes': The Story Behind George Jones' Nostalgic Hit