George Jones
1931 - 2013 

Born in 1931, George Jones once said as a child that he had "no interest in nothing by country music". His music career started as soon as he left school when he began playing guitar with a duo called Eddie and Pearl. He took a short break from performing to serve this great nation in the Marines, then right back to it… a long and rich career followed.

Jones was one of the defining artists in country music history as he gained prominence in the mid-1950s. Known to many as "The Possum", some of us remember some years back when he'd miss so many concerts they'd call him "No Show" Jones… But even before that, George Jones recorded some rockabillly music during the early years of his recording career under a different nickname…"Thumper Jones".

In 1955 he recorded "Why Baby Way," on the Texas-based Starday label. It topped out at number four on the charts but was enough to kick start his career. By 1956 he won Billboard Magazine's "Most Promising New Country Vocalist" award and three years later he signed to Mercury Records and scored his first #1 hit with a song written by the "Big Bopper", J.P. Richardson," White Lightning." . 

George Jones became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1969 on the same day as Dolly Parton.
"My heart is absolutely broken. George Jones was my all time favorite singer and one of my favorite people in the world." 
Dolly Parton. 

The story has it that this artist was dogged by alcohol problems, debt and a messy divorce. Things where so bad, that reviewers referred to him as a former country star. But he was set for a comeback after he left rehab in 1980, and what a comeback! In 1980 George Jones topped the Country Charts with a song written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman. That song won a Grammy, was voted "Song of the Year" by the Nashville Songwriters Association, Single of the Year by the Academy of country Music, and Song of the Year by the CMA two years back to back. All that for a song that actually sat around for 3 years… Nobody wanted to sing it… Until George. That song… hailed as one of the best country songs of all time… "He Stopped Loving Her Today". 

Having been married to Tammy Wynette and Shirley Corley, Jones married wife Nancy in 1983, who's credited with getting Jones' personal and public lives back on track. 
"There aren't words in our language to describe the depth of his greatness," 
Vince Gill 

In 1992 George Jones's did what would be practically impossible for the average singer, he recorded a single that featured the likes of : Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks, Tanya Tucker, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Pam Tillis, Mark Chesnutt, Clint Black, T. Graham Brown, and Joe Diffie. "I don't need your Rockin' Chair". That same year, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of fame. 

On his 63rd birthday in 1994 George gave us all a scare, but survived a 3 and a half hour triple by-pass heart operation. 

Jones was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime achievement in 2008. 
"The world has lost the greatest country singer of all time. Amen." 
Merle Haggard 

Another country great joins Heaven's choir. George Jones was 81

© 2013 Eddie Bear Productions