Love Bug (George Jones song)

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"Love Bug"
Single by George Jones
from the album Love Bug
B-side "I Can't Get Used to Being Lonely"
Released 1965
Format 7" single
Genre Country
Length 2:00
Label Musicor 1098[1]
Writer(s) Wayne Kemp
Curtis Wayne
Producer(s) Pappy Daily
George Jones singles chronology
"Least of All"
"Love Bug"
"Take Me"

"Love Bug", also spelled "Lovebug," is a single by American country music artist George Jones. Jones' version, which also features a young Johnny Paycheck on backup vocals and draws heavily from the Bakersfield sound as popularized by Buck Owens, reached #6 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1965.

Single by George Strait
from the album Easy Come, Easy Go
B-side "Just Look at Me"
Released February 28, 1994
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 2:50
Label MCA 54819
Writer(s) Wayne Kemp
Curtis Wayne
Producer(s) Tony Brown
George Strait
George Strait singles chronology
"I'd Like to Have That One Back"
"The Man in Love with You"


By 1965, one of the few other country singers who was as hot as Jones on the country charts was Buck Owens, who had helped establish Bakersfield as an alternative to Nashville as a country music center.[citation needed] The Bakersfield sound was seen as having more bite than the more tepid Nashville sound, and a rivalry soon sprouted; in the 2001 documentary series Lost Highway music journalist Chet Flippo states, "I think that Nashville felt that Bakersfield was a bad smell that they wished would go away. It really had nothing to do with the scene in Nashville but country radio loved that music, so there was a certain co-existence that had to go on."[citation needed] This rivalry extended to Jones and Owens; although they would always remain friends, during the occasions in which they toured together in the early days they often argued about who would close the show, with Jones recalling in his autobiography I Lived to Tell It All that he "was resentful because Buck's home in Bakersfield did not make him part of the Nashville family."[2]

Recording and composition[edit]

"Love Bug" was written by Wayne Kemp and Curtis Wayne. Lyrically, the song celebrates the giddiness of new love that's "got the whole world shook up."[citation needed] Musically, the song is an unmistakable nod to the Bakersfield sound, from the treble on the guitars to George's elongated delivery at the start, "Oh...that...little bitty teeny weeny thing they call the love bug," which is reminiscent of Owens hits like "Love's Gonna Live Here" and "I've Got a Tiger By the Tail".[citation needed] Several alternate takes of the song can be heard on the Jones box set Walk Through This World with Me: The Complete Musicor Recordings 1965-1971, including a version with an overdriven electric guitar solo and harmonica that makes it sound more like a Rolling Stones record of the time than either Nashville or Bakersfield.[citation needed] Jones later recorded the song as a duet with Vince Gill on the 1994 album The Bradley Barn Sessions.

George Strait version[edit]

George Strait released a cover of the song in February 1994 as the third single from his album Easy Come, Easy Go. Strait's version reached #8 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in May 1994.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

George Jones version[edit]

Chart (1965) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs 6

George Strait version[edit]

"Love Bug" re-entered the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart at number 74 as an official single for the week of March 5, 1994.

Chart (1994) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[4] 9
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[5] 14
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 8


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 213. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  2. ^ Jones, George; Carter, Tom 1995, pp. 43.
  3. ^ Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
  4. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2496." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. June 6, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  5. ^ "George Strait – Chart history" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for George Strait.
  6. ^ "George Strait – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for George Strait.

External links[edit]