Last week, we had big loss in Woodstock and Rock-n-Roll music with the passing of Richie Havens. Over the weekend, Nashville & country music had a big loss with the passing of George Jones.
George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) was an American country music singer known for his long list of hit records, his distinctive voice and phrasing, and his marriage to Tammy Wynette.
For the last 20 years of his life, Jones was frequently referred to as the greatest living country singer. Country music scholar Bill C. Malone writes, “For the two or three minutes consumed by a song, Jones immerses himself so completely in its lyrics, and in the mood it conveys, that the listener can scarcely avoid becoming similarly involved.” Waylon Jennings, in his song “It’s Alright” expressed a common jealousy when he said, “If we all could sound like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones.”
Throughout his long career, Jones made headlines often as much for his drinking, stormy relationships with women, and violent rages as for his prolific career of making records and touring. His wild lifestyle led to Jones missing many performances, earning him the nickname “No Show Jones.” With the help of his fourth wife, Nancy, he was mostly sober from the mid 1980’s until his his death in 2013. Jones had more than 150 hits during his career, both as a solo artist and in duets with other artists. The shape of his nose and facial features gave Jones the nickname “The Possum.” Jones said in an interview that he chose to tour only about 60 dates a year.
Jones’s identity was closely tied to his alcoholism. One of the best known stories of Jones’ drinking days happened when he was married to his second wife, Shirley Corley. Jones recalled Shirley making it physically impossible for him to travel to Beaumont, located 8 miles away, and buy liquor. Because Jones would not walk that far, she would hide the keys to each of their cars they owned before leaving. She did not, however, hide the keys to the lawn mower. Jones recollects being upset at not being able to find any keys before looking out the window and at a light that shone over their property. He then described his thoughts, saying: “There, gleaming in the glow, was that ten-horsepower rotary engine under a seat. A key glistening in the ignition. I imagine the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour. It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did.”
Jones later jokingly sang of the lawn mower incident in his 1996 single “Honky Tonk Song”, and parodied his arrest in the music video.
Funeral arrangements have been announced for Country Music Hall of Famer George Jones, who died in Nashville on Friday at age 81.
Webster & Associates Public Relations & Marketing released the following details on Sunday afternoon:
“George Jones’ funeral will take place on Thursday, May 2nd at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, starting at 10 a.m. and will be open to the public.
” ‘George would have wanted his fans and friends everywhere to be able to come and pay their respects along with his family,’ said publicist Kirt Webster.
” ‘Thanks to George’s friends, fans, and loved ones for the outpouring of love at this terrible time,’ said Jones’ wife of 30 years, Nancy. ‘I love you all.’
“A private visitation for family, friends, and fellow performers will take place on Wednesday evening. Since this is private, please call 615-777-6995 x230 for time and location.”
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Grand Ole Opry trust fund:
Opry Trust Fund
2804 Opryland Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37214
or to the:
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum:http://store.countrymusichalloffame.com/categories/Donate/
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
222 Fifth Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203
**Information for this article taken from wikipedia and Press release