For the Good Times (song)

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"For the Good Times"
Single by Bill Nash
A-side"We Had All The Good Things Going"
Songwriter(s)Kris Kristofferson
Producer(s)Jerry Kennedy
"For the Good Times"
Single by Ray Price
from the album For the Good Times
B-side"Grazin' in Greener Pastures"
ReleasedJune 1970
Songwriter(s)Kris Kristofferson
Producer(s)Don Law
Ray Price singles chronology
"You Wouldn't Know Love"
"For the Good Times"
"I Won't Mention It Again"

"For the Good Times" is a song written by Kris Kristofferson, first recorded by singer Bill Nash in 1968 before appearing on Kristofferson's own debut album in April 1970. After a recording by Ray Price became a #1 hit single in June of that year, the song established Kristofferson as one of country and popular music's top songwriters while giving Price his first chart-topping country and western song in 11 years.[1]

"For the Good Times" continued to be recorded by a number of artists in subsequent years, to popular success. It became a staple of soul singer Al Green's concert repertoire in the 1970s,[2] also featuring as a studio recording on his 1972 album I'm Still in Love with You.[3] A version by Perry Como spent 27 weeks on the UK Singles Chart peaking at #7 in August 1973.[4]


Kristofferson wrote most of the song in 1968 while on a work-related road trip from Nashville to the Gulf of Mexico.[1] It recounts the end of a love affair, based on a real life experience of his,[5] in a manner that popular music scholar Steve Sullivan said "conveys sadness, acceptance, and longing".[1]

Ray Price's recording[edit]

An early recording of the song was by Bill Nash on Smash Records in 1968.[6] Kristofferson's own recording appeared on self-titled debut album in April 1970.[7] Ray Price recorded it on March 16, 1970,[1] accompanied by an orchestra in Nashville's Columbia Studio A.[5]

Price's recording was released as a single and made its chart debut on June 27, 1970, topping the country and western chart for one week and reaching #11 on the pop singles chart.[1] "For the Good Times" was Price's fifth #1 single and spent 19 weeks on the chart.[8] It was also his only release to hit the Top 40 of the pop chart.[9] Originally Price's label, Columbia Records, had released the song as the "B" side of the single, but switched to promoting "For the Good Times" after Wayne Newton recorded his own version of the tune. The flip side, "Grazin' in Greener Pastures," did receive credit on the country music chart.[10]

At the 1971 Academy of Country Music awards, "For the Good Times" won in the category of "Song of the Year" (for Kristofferson as composer) and "Single of the Year" (for Price).[11] In 2014, Rolling Stone named Price's recording #18 on its "40 Saddest Country Songs of All Time".[12] Kacey Musgraves has said it "might be the saddest song of all time. It really breaks my heart."[1]

It was featured in television commercials promoting ESPN's coverage of the 2014–15 College Football Playoff.[13][14]


Chart (1970) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[15] 32
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 11
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 10
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 2
Canadian RPM Top Singles 13
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 10


  1. ^ a b c d e f Sullivan, Steve (2017). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings, Volume 3. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 461. ISBN 978-1442254497.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Al Green's Greatest Hits Volume II". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0-89919-025-1. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  3. ^ Awkward, Michael (2007). Soul Covers: Rhythm and Blues Remakes and the Struggle for Artistic Identity (Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Phoebe Snow). Duke University Press. p. 119. ISBN 978-0822389491.
  4. ^ "PERRY COMO | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  5. ^ a b "Kris Kristofferson Talks More About His Songs". CMT. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  6. ^ "For the good times". Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  7. ^ "Kris Kristofferson - Self-Titled". No Depression. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 275.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 505.
  10. ^ Roland, Tom, "The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits" (Billboard Books, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1991 (ISBN 0-82-307553-2), p. 43.
  11. ^ Billboard Apr 3, 1971
  12. ^ Kreps, Daniel; Menoci, David; Ryan, Linda; Harvilla, Rob; Murray, Nick; Drell, Cady; Powell, Mike; Moss, Marissa R; Harris, Keith; Fisher, Reed (September 26, 2014). "40 Saddest Country Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone.
  13. ^ "Ray Price’s 'For the Good Times' Plays in ESPN Commercial" – KMOO-FM 99.9.
  14. ^ ESPN television commercial promoting 2014–15 College Football Playoff telecasts, courtesy of YouTube.
  15. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 238. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.