Golden Ring (song)

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"Golden Ring"
Single by George Jones and Tammy Wynette
from the album Golden Ring
Released May 1976 (U.S.)
Format 7"
Recorded 1976
Genre Country
Length 3:02
Label Epic 50235
Writer(s) Bobby Braddock, Rafe VanHoy
Producer(s) Billy Sherrill
George Jones and Tammy Wynette singles chronology
"God's Gonna Get'cha For That"
"Golden Ring"
"Near You"

"Golden Ring" is a song made famous by country music singers George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Originally released in 1976, the song was the title track to their duet album released that same year. It was a Number One hit on the Billboard country charts.


The song was conceived by songwriter Bobby Braddock, who had seen a television drama about the life of a handgun. The story showed the gun changing hands several times, with a hunter, police officer, criminal and a father of a 2-year-old child all owning the gun at one point, with the consequences played out in each segment.[1]

Braddock applied the same concept to a song about the life of a wedding ring.[1] Here, a young couple from Chicago - apparently very much in love - goes to a pawn shop to shop for a ring for their upcoming wedding. The man (both characters are unnamed in the song) laments that he is unable to pick out a more expensive band, but he's willing to buy it to show how much he loves his bride-to-be, whom - in the song's second verse - he marries in a small wedding chapel later on that afternoon. In the third verse, the couple has been fighting which leads to "their final round". The man accuses his wife of planning to leave town; the woman retorts by telling her husband she doesn't love him anymore, "and throws down the ring / as she walks out the door." The final verse features the ring, once again in a pawnshop waiting for its next owners.

The refrains tell about the meaning of the ring through its lifecycle with the couple. The first refrain speaks of the promise of love shown in the glittering ring; the second verse talks about how "at last, it's found a home," and the finale tells of how the ring has been cast aside "like the love that's dead and gone." Each refrain ends with how a wedding band is meaningless without love. "By itself, it's just a cold metallic thing. / Only love can make a golden wedding ring".

Chart Performance[edit]

Released in May 1976 – 14 months after their real-life divorce - "Golden Ring" was the second George Jones-Tammy Wynette duet to reach No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart that August. [2]

Chart (1976) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 5

Other versions[edit]

Jones and Wynette re-recorded the song on Jones's 1994 album The Bradley Barn Sessions, an album which comprised re-recordings of Jones's material in duet form. A cover version was recorded by Jason Sellers as a duet with Pam Tillis on Sellers' 1998 album A Matter of Time. It has also been recorded by the Dry Branch Fire Squad bluegrass band. Ashton Shepherd and Daryle Singletary also covered it for Ashton's third album "This Is America" (2013).


  1. ^ a b Roland, Tom, "The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits" (Billboard Books, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1991 (ISBN 0-82-307553-2)), p. 103
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 182. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Teddy Bear"
by Red Sovine
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

August 7, 1976
Succeeded by
"Say It Again"
by Don Williams