Before he died in 2013, George Jones teamed up with a firearms company to produce a gold handgun. The one-of-a-kind revolver comes with his music literally inscribed on the barrel.
America Remembers firearms engraved the notes to his song “He Stopped Loving Her Today” in gold inlay across the pistol. The single-action .45 — which for some reason is not called the Possum Pistol — also comes with Jones’ face emblazoned on the side. Also in gold.
The manufacturer’s website says Jones, a firearm collector, was involved at every stage of the gun’s design. Jones chose “He Stopped Loving Her Today” because it was the song that launched him into stardom in 1980.
America Remembers only made 950 of the pistols, and some are still available.
“Each revolver in this edition is produced for us by the master craftsmen of A. Uberti, who have expertly created this classic firearm just as they have created so many of the western classics since 1959, and have established themselves as the premier maker of historical firearms recreations,” the site says.
The gun costs $1,895.
The Story Behind George Jones’ Biggest Hit
There’s a good chance George Jones wouldn’t be the titan of country music without “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
The Possum had been recording in Nashville since the 1950s. But after some early success, his career stalled and seemed stuck. But in 1978 producer Bobby Sherrill approached Jones with “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
In Bob Allen’s book George Jones: The Life and Times of a Honky Tonk Legend, Sherrill admitted Jones’ hated it at first pass. “He thought it was too long, too sad… and that nobody would ever play it.” Jones also hated the melody of the song.
But Sherill was persistent. He believed in the song, and, more importantly, believed Jones was the person who should sing it. After some arm twisting, Sherrill won out, and Jones recorded the song and included it on his I Am What I Am album. The song was a hit right away, spending 18 weeks at the top of the country charts.
Suddenly, the man middling his way through Nashville found himself taking home the Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Then, the Academy of Country Music named it Single of the Year for 1980. The Country Music Association named it Single of the Year for both 1980 and 1981.
After Jones’ death in 2013, the song made it back on the charts, reaching No. 21.