Flashback: See George Jones Sing 'She Thinks I Still Care' in Vintage Clip

1962 Opry TV appearance led to the Possum's third Number One hit

George Jones reached Number One on May 19th, 1962, with "He Thinks I Still Care"

By 1962, Mercury Records artist George Jones had left that label for United Artists. He'd had two long-running Number One hits with the former label – "White Lightning" (five weeks at Number One) and "Tender Years" (seven weeks on top) – and "She Thinks I Still Care," which reached the chart pinnacle 55 years ago today, on May 19th, 1962, would split the difference, spending six weeks at Number One. The Dickey Lee-Steve Duffy- penned weeper would become one of the longest-lived country hits of all-time on the strength of Jones' memorable performance, mixing pain and heartache with an ironic sense of denial and a dash of self pity.

Recorded January 4th, 1962, at Bradley Film and Recording Studio, "She Thinks I Still Care" first came to Jones' attention via songwriter-producer Jack Clement, who played it for him in the Gulf Coast Sound studio Clement owned in Beaumont, Texas, with Bill Hall. While one legend had Jones strongly disliking the tune for the repeated use of the phrase "Just because," he would disagree with that recollection and claim to have been "knocked out" by the song after a first listen. Whatever the truth, it became a signature tune for Jones and has gone on to be one of the singer's most beloved – and oft-covered – singles. In February 1962, not long after its release, Jones was joined by harmony singer George Riddle for a moving performance of the song on an episode of the Pet Milk Grand Ole Opry TV series.

Twelve years after it reached Number One on the country chart, the tune returned to the top in a distaff version, "He Thinks I Still Care," recorded by Anne Murray. Closer in time to the original, female artists including Cher and Connie Francis also put the female perspective on it, while later versions included ones by Elvis Presley, Little Willie John, Jerry Lee Lewis, and a 1970 cut by Glen Campbell. The song is among those Campbell cut for his final LP, Adiós, which will be released June 9th.

Days after the Possum died in April 2014, several artists paid homage to him with performances of this song and others at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at Indio, California's Empire Polo Field – Toby Keith tackled "She Thinks I Still Care." Singer Teddy Thompson, joined by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jerry Douglas and others, also recorded a live version for the popular Transatlantic Sessions series. Watch that video below.

In 1998, Jones' recording of "She Thinks I Still Care" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.