In 1997, singer-songwriter Billy Yates released his self-titled debut album, jam-packed with classic-leaning honky-tonk tracks that he co-wrote himself.
Two years later, one of Yates’ debut made its way to George Jones as the living country legend was preparing to release his 56th album, Cold Hard Truth – and that was “Choices.” Interestingly, the track – which takes a look at the long-term consequences of giving in to temptation – seemed tailor-made for Jones, whose battle with drug and alcohol addiction was notorious.
In fact, two months before the release of Cold Hard Truth, Jones almost lost the battle when the vehicle he was driving hit a concrete bridge. As a result, he was treated for a ruptured liver, collapsed lung, and internal bleeding. A few days later, a small bottle of vodka was found in Jones’ vehicle, making the media speculate it caused the accident. It turned out Jones was distracted as he was using his mobile phone, playing “Choices” – his next single – to his stepdaughter.
After recovering from that near-fatal wreck, Jones finally won his battle with the bottle – drinking and smoking had become a thing of the past. Cold Hard Truth was released and quickly became a country favorite, reaching No. 5 on the country albums chart.
Meanwhile, “Choices” only reached No. 30, but it went on to win Jones his last Grammy Award and inspired a whole new generation of country artists. This includes Georgette Jones, Jones’ only daughter with fellow country legend Tammy Wynette.