|"For the Good Times"|
|Single by Bill Nash|
|"For the Good Times"|
|Single by Ray Price|
|from the album For the Good Times|
|B-side||"Grazin' in Greener Pastures"|
|Ray Price singles chronology|
"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 number-one 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.
"For the Good Times" continued to be recorded by a number of artists in subsequent years, to popular success. The song became a staple of soul singer Al Green's concert repertoire in the 1970s, also featuring as a studio recording on his 1972 album I'm Still in Love with You. A version by Perry Como spent 27 weeks on the UK Singles Chart peaking at #7 in August 1973.
Kristofferson wrote most of the song in 1968 while on a work-related road trip from Nashville to the Gulf of Mexico. It recounts the end of a love affair, based on a real life experience of his, in a manner that popular music scholar Steve Sullivan said "conveys sadness, acceptance, and longing".
Ray Price's recording
An early recording of the song was by Bill Nash on Smash Records in 1968. Kristofferson's own recording appeared on self-titled debut album in April 1970. Ray Price recorded a version of the song on March 16, 1970, accompanied by an orchestra in Nashville's Columbia Studio A.
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 number 11 on the pop singles chart. "For the Good Times" was Price's fifth #1 single and spent 19 weeks on the chart. It was also his only release to hit the Top 40 of the pop chart. 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.
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). In 2014, Rolling Stone named Price's recording number 18 on its "40 Saddest Country Songs of All Time". Kacey Musgraves has said it "might be the saddest song of all time. It really breaks my heart."
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||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|
Other artists to have recorded the song include:
- Aaron Neville
- Al Green
- Albert West in 1975
- Andy Abraham
- Andy Williams recorded a version for his 1971 album Love Story
- Anne Murray
- Bill Kenny
- Billie Jo Spears
- Billy Walker
- Brian Kennedy on his 2008 album Interpretations
- Chet Atkins
- Colleen Hewett on her album, M'Lady (1974)
- Crystal Gayle
- Dean Martin
- Dolly Parton
- Elvis Presley on his albums Welcome to My World and As Recorded at Madison Square Garden
- Engelbert Humperdinck
- Frank Sinatra on his album Trilogy with Eileen Farrell
- Geraldine a Filipino Artist under Alpha Records recorded in 1971
- Isaac Hayes
- Jamey Johnson from disc two of his 2010 release The Guitar Song
- Jerry Lee Lewis on his 1972 albumWould You Take Another Chance on Me
- Joe Diffie
- Johnny Cash recorded a version released posthumously on his album American VI: Ain't No Grave
- Johnny Hartman on his 1973 album I've Been There
- Kenny Rogers
- The Little Willies
- Lloyd Cole with Jill Sobule
- Loretta Lynn on her album Coal Miner's Daughter
- Lynn Anderson on her 1970 album Rose Garden
- Michael Jackson also sang the song live on his mother Katherine's birthday in 1984
- Perry Como
- Rita Coolidge on her 1984 album "Good Old Days" and her 1996 album Out Of The Blues
- Roger Whittaker
- Slim Cessna has performed the song at the end of every Slim Cessna's Auto Club set since the early 2000s
- Tennessee Ernie Ford and Glen Campbell (on the album Ernie Sings & Glen Picks)
- Willie Nelson
- Sullivan, Steve (2017). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings, Volume 3. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 461. ISBN 978-1442254497.
- 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.
- 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.
- "PERRY COMO | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
- "Kris Kristofferson Talks More About His Songs". CMT. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
- "For the good times". Poplartunes.nl. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
- "Kris Kristofferson - Self-Titled". No Depression. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 275.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 505.
- 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.
- Billboard Apr 3, 1971
- 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.
- "Ray Price’s 'For the Good Times' Plays in ESPN Commercial" – KMOO-FM 99.9.
- ESPN television commercial promoting 2014–15 College Football Playoff telecasts, courtesy of YouTube.
- 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.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Would You Take Another Chance on Me? - Jerry Lee Lewis | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-03.