George Jones
American country music singer
George Jones
George Glenn Jones is an American country music singer known for his long list of hit records, his distinctive voice and phrasing, and his marriage to Tammy Wynette. Over the past 20 years, Jones has frequently been referred to as the greatest living country singer. Country music scholar Bill C.
George Jones's personal information overview.
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America? America! Our Country Through Music
Huffington Post - about 2 months
America? America! Our Country Through Music By Eden MacAdam-Somer Photo By Andrew Hurlbut The morning after our recent presidential election, I gathered with students and colleagues in New England Conservatory's Department of Contemporary Improvisation for a production meeting. We had a concert coming up in less than a week, and we needed to finalize some staging details...except that none of us was able to focus on music at the moment. New England Conservatory has an enrollment of 750 graduate and undergraduate college students from 46 states and 39 countries. In the CI department, our 80 or so students and faculty hail from different parts of the US, Canada, Central & South America, Turkey, Israel, Syria, Korea, China, Japan, India, Germany, Iran, and Armenia, with backgrounds in jazz, rock, classical, free improvisation, and folk genres. We are composers, performers, improvisers, singers, dancers, and instrumentalists. We are a community of individuals with different n ...
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Huffington Post article
Jessica Chastain Plays A Lobbyist In 'Miss Sloane,' But You Can't Lobby Her To Watch 'The Tree Of Life'
Huffington Post - 3 months
In “Miss Sloane,” Jessica Chastain plays a no-frills Washington lobbyist who’d sooner burn everyone in her path than fail. A fan of black power suits and pill-popping, Elizabeth Sloane is brash and intimidating ― the exact opposite of Chastain, whose 12-year career has lent her a reputation as one of the nice ones in Hollywood.  Opening in limited release this weekend, “Miss Sloane” once again places Chastain in the middle of a congested Best Actress race. It would mark her third Oscar nomination, after “The Help” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” I sat down with Chastain last month to discuss the movie, women’s roles in the lobbying world, preparing to play Tammy Wynette and why she can’t watch “The Tree of Life.” Elizabeth Sloane is like Olivia Pope from “Scandal” meets Carrie Mathieson from “Homeland.” [Laughs] That’s a really interesting parallel to make. For me, “Sloane” is a story about addiction because she’s addicted to the win. I think Carrie is like that in “Homeland.” But a ...
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Huffington Post article
Hannah Wirfel, George Jones IV
NYTimes - 5 months
The couple, who both graduated from Trinity College, are wed.
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NYTimes article
The Rotunda
Huffington Post - over 1 year
THE OAK Ridge Boys and the Country Music HALL of FAME... Induction October 25, 2015 It was announced in the Spring of 2015 that along with Guitar virtuoso Grady Martin and Jim Ed Brown and The Browns that The Oak Ridge Boys would be this years modern era inductees into The Country Music Hall of Fame. I wrote the following words not long after the announcement... The hallowed Rotunda at The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville Tennessee is where the plaques of inducted Hall of Famers are mounted in a huge and beautiful circle. "All are equal inside of this circle" is the mantra and it is a sight to behold. The words Will The Circle Be Unbroken are written above the bronzed plaques and the circular ceiling that is bathed in sunlight seems to rise above to the Heavens which is also symbolic for many of our Country Music Heroes who we have loved have moved on beyond this earth and their light does seem to shine down upon the Rotunda. It is still mind boggling to me that The Oa ...
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Huffington Post article
Bands to Watch: Hangout at the Beach With... Kopecky
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
As Kelsey Kopecky found out about eight years ago, playing in a band is a lot like growing up with your family. So it made sense when her fellow student at Belmont University first suggested half-seriously/half-kiddingly that they put the two like-minded entities together with her name to create Kopecky Family Band in 2007. "Gabe is a hoot," the engaging Kopecky said over the phone in April about Gabe Simon, a co-founding member, guitarist, singer-songwriter in the group that includes four other members -- all of whom are unrelated. It was only about a week after the two had their first songwriting session when they were sitting in a Nashville coffee shop that he created the name because he said it sounded "like a Polish family band," Kopecky recalled, laughing. "We thought it was funny. And it was kind of like the joke was on us because people who hear the name 'Family Band,' they assume more folk or bluegrass music, when what we're doing is just kind of like indie pop-rock ...
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Huffington Post article
What's Kathleen Hanna Listening to 16 Years Post-Bikini Kill?
Mother Jones - about 3 years
Two decades ago, Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna, who now fronts a quintet called The Julie Ruin, was at the forefront of the punk-rock feminist movement. I asked the riot grrrl icon what she's listening to nowadays, and here's what she had to say. To read the rest of our interview, click here. 1. I'd say Santigold is probably my favorite younger artist. "Creator" is the song that I listen to when I'm really like, "I can't do it anymore!" It's such a bold statement about being someone who makes stuff, whatever that stuff is. It gives me so much confidence.   2. I really like Grimes a lot. I love that she produces her music and she's unapologetic about being a feminist. It sounds like a contradiction to mix fashion with feminism and I really love that she just walks through that like, "What do you mean? There's no contradiction."   3. I've been really into Vic Chesnutt lately. His music is so moving and so beautiful, and his voice is just so different than anybody ...
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Mother Jones article
Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: There's Always a Bull Market Somewhere
The Street - about 3 years
Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive "Mad Money" Stock Screener. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With tomorrow's labor report just around the corner, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money"  viewers Thursday they need to be ready for more market weakness. The threat of rising interest rates will most certainly mean declines for the markets, said Cramer, but that doesn't mean that all stocks will follow suit. Cramer said the competition from rising interest rates will continue to hit the real estate investment trusts and the master limited partnerships hardest. That will be followed by other high-yielding stocks such as health care and consumer packaged goods, he continued. The bears always take the easy way out, choosing to short S&P 500 index funds. That will, in turn, take a toll on the market overall. But does that mean everything deserves to go down? Cramer's motto is, "There's always a bull market somewhere," and that means tomorrow, too. He said the ban ...
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The Street article
Country superstars join together for a George Jones tribute concert
Fox News - over 3 years
Dozens of country singers joined together for a raucous and lengthy concert on Friday night to celebrate the musical legacy of country legend George Jones.
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Fox News article
Tributes to George Jones
Fox News - over 3 years
Fox 411 Country Roundup
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Fox News article
Town dependent on fame of Harper Lee book stung by museum lawsuit
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Verna Gates MONROEVILLE, Alabama (Reuters) - Harper Lee was once universally revered by her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, but a legal battle over the shrine it built to honor her literary legacy is dividing the small southern city. Exhibits there celebrate Lee's achievements, as does an annual play based on the book, while Lee leads a sheltered life at an assisted living home on the edge of town. "She just detested the attention of people who just wanted to be friends because she wrote the book," said George Jones, 91, who went to school with Lee.
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Yahoo News article
George Jones tribute concert lineup finalized
USA Today - over 3 years
Acts from George Strait to Megadeth will honor the late country great.
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USA Today article
Just Look at These Great Old Photos of Glenn Gould, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Billie Holiday
Mother Jones - over 3 years
I love words. Sling 'em with 'em all day, matter of fact. But when I pick up a photo book, I want the images to do the lifting. Or to put that in musical terms, I'd rather listen to the song than read the sheet music. Keeping Time: The Photographs of Don Hunstein, a wonderful new retrospective from Insight Editions, accomplishes exactly that. There's a short foreword by Art Garfunkel (oh, great, now I've got "Mrs. Robinson" stuck in my head!) and a foreword and afterword by New York Times pop music critic Jon Pareles, but the rest of this coffee table must-have is all meat and potatoes, showcasing the mostly unseen and intimate images of Hunstein, who spent three decades as Columbia Records' official photographer. From Pareles' biopic foreword: "There was nothing metaphysical about what I did," he said in conversation with the music producer Leo Sacks [who edited the collection]. "I'd just like to think I had a good eye for detail, that I captured the moment at hand. But mos ...
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Mother Jones article
Mail attack on Ed Miliband worse than anything I faced, says Neil Kinnock
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
Ex-Labour leader accuses media of being out to 'scrag Ed from the start' as Miliband says treatment of family not isolated case Ed Miliband is suffering more vicious attacks at the hands of newspapers than his predecessors, according to former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, including his own famously hostile treatment during the 1992 general election campaign. Kinnock said the Daily Mail's attacks on Miliband's late father, Ralph, were "worse than I had" and accused the media of being out to "scrag Ed from the start". He spoke out as Miliband's team claimed a major victory, when a senior representative of the Daily Mail admitted that the article depicting Ralph Miliband as "The Man Who Hated Britain" may have been "wrongly labelled". A Labour spokesman said the newspaper's "defence is crumbling" after Alex Brummer, the City editor, told Channel 4 News the piece "perhaps should have said the word 'comment' on it". Senior Conservatives and media figures have accused the Labour leader o ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Review: Kentucky Traveler: My Life in Music - over 3 years
“Kentucky Traveler” is a folksy, plain-spoken story that is part music odyssey, part family saga and part Christian manifesto. The devoutly evangelical Ricky Skaggs spends much of the book recounting his religious upbringing, remembering his mother’s prayers and reciting many favorite Bible verses he tries to live by. He also frets about the status of other people’s souls, including Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, with whom Skaggs worked briefly on an album of George Jones songs. The book’s preaching will inspire some readers and probably turn off others. Read the rest of this review, and find more, at
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of George Jones
  • 2013
    Age 81
    In April 2013, he died at the age of 81, ending a 61-year career.
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    In 2013, Robbie Robertson told Uncut, "He was the Ray Charles of country music - the one who could make you cry with his voice We wouldn't listen to country music, the guys in the Band, but we'd listen to George Jones " Robert Plant told Uncuts Michael Bonner in 2014, "I now have to listen to George Jones once a day.
    More Details Hide Details Amazing singer. What a singer." James Taylor, who wrote "Bartender's Blues" with Jones in mind and sang background vocals with him on the recording, told Rolling Stone, "He sounds like a steel guitar. It's the way he blends notes, the way he comes up to them, the way he crescendos and decrescendos. The dynamic of it is very tight and very controlled - it's like carving with the voice." Other disparate artists who recorded with Jones include Dennis Locorriere and Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook, Mark Knopfler, the Staples Singers, Leon Russell, B.B King and Linda Ronstadt. In 1995, Burt Reynolds wrote, "He is to country music what Spencer Tracy is to movies." Jones was one of the greatest harmony singers in country music and released many duets over the course of his long career. While his songs with Tammy Wynette are his most celebrated, Jones claimed in his autobiography that he felt his duets with Melba Montgomery were his best. Jones also recorded duet albums with Gene Pitney and his former bass player Johnny Paycheck. George's record with Paycheck, 1980's Double Trouble, is one of his most atypical records and features him giving credible performances on numbers like "Maybelline", "You Better Move On", and "Proud Mary". Jones also recorded the duet albums My Very Special Guests (1979), Ladies Choice (1984), Friends In High Places (1991), The Bradley Barn Sessions (1994), God's Country: George Jones And Friends (2006), a second album with Merle Haggard called Kickin' Out The Footlights Again (2006) and Burn Your Playhouse Down (2008).
    Parsons reignited Keith Richards' interest in country music in the early seventies and after Jones' death in 2013 the guitarist wrote, "He possessed the most touching voice, the most expressive ways of projecting that beautiful instrument of anyone I can call to mind.
    More Details Hide Details You heard his heart in every note he sang." Richards recorded "Say It's Not You" with Jones for The Bradley Barn Sessions in 1994 and recalls in his autobiography hearing him sing for the first time when the Rolling Stones and Jones were on the same show in Texas in 1964: "They trailed in with tumbleweed following them, as if tumbleweed was their pet. Dust all over the place, a bunch of cowboys. But when George got up, we went whoa, there's a master up there." In the documentary The History of Rock 'N' Roll, Mick Jagger also cites Jones as one of his favorite country singers. John Prine mentions Jones in his song "Jesus the Missing Years". Jones fan Elvis Costello had a surprise hit in the UK when he covered "A Good Year For The Roses" in 1981. Elliott Smith told an interviewer about his idea of Heaven: "George Jones would be singing all the time. It would be like New York in reverse: people would be nice to each other for no reason at all, and it would smell good." In a 2001 interview with Mark Binelli from Rolling Stone, Leonard Cohen asked, "Have you heard George Jones' last record Cold Hard Truth? I love to hear an old guy lay out his situation. He has the best voice in America." The day Jones died, Cohen performed "Choices" on stage in Winnipeg, Canada as a tribute to the country legend.
    David Cantwell recalled in 2013, "His approach to singing, he told me once, was to call up those memories and feelings of his own that most closely corresponded to those being felt by the character in whatever song he was performing.
    More Details Hide Details He was a kind of singing method actor, creating an illusion of the real." In the liner notes to Essential George Jones: The Spirit of Country Rich Kienzle states, "Jones sings of people and stories that are achingly human. He can turn a ballad into a catharsis by wringing every possible emotion from it, making it a primal, strangled cry of anguish". In 1994, country music historian Colin Escott pronounced, "Contemporary country music is virtually founded on reverence for George Jones. Walk through a room of country singers and conduct a quick poll, George nearly always tops it." In the wake of Jones's death, Merle Haggard pronounced in Rolling Stone, "His voice was like a Stradivarius violin: one of the greatest instruments ever made." Emmylou Harris wrote, " when you hear George Jones sing, you are hearing a man who takes a song and makes it a work of art - always," a quote that appeared on the sleeve of Jones' 1976 album The Battle. In the documentary Same Ole Me, several country music stars offer similar thoughts. Johnny Cash: "When people ask me who my favorite country singer is, I say, 'You mean besides George Jones?'"; Randy Travis: "It sounds like he's lived every minute of every word that he sings and there's very few people who can do that"; Tom T. Hall: "It was always Jones who got the message across just right"; and Roy Acuff: "I'd give anything if I could sing like George Jones".
    Former first lady Laura Bush was among those eulogizing Jones at his funeral on May 2, 2013.
    More Details Hide Details Other speakers were Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, news personality Bob Schieffer, and country singers Barbara Mandrell and Kenny Chesney. Alan Jackson, Kid Rock, Ronnie Milsap, Randy Travis, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Travis Tritt, the Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels, Wynonna and Brad Paisley provided musical tributes The service was broadcast live on CMT, GAC, RFD-TV, The Nashville Network and Family Net as well as Nashville stations. SiriusXM and WSM 650AM, home of the Grand Ole Opry, broadcast the event on the radio. The family requested that contributions be made to the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund or to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Jones was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Nashville. His death made headlines all over the world; many country stations (as well as a few of other formats, such as oldies/classic hits) abandoned or modified their playlists and played his songs throughout the day. The week after Jones's death, "He Stopped Loving Her Today" re-entered the hot country songs at number 21.
    While there, Jones died in the early morning hours of April 26, 2013, aged 81, from hypoxic respiratory failure.
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    However, on April 18, 2013, Jones was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for a slight fever and irregular blood pressure.
    More Details Hide Details His concerts in Alabama and Salem were postponed as a result.
    Jones was scheduled to perform his final concert at the Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2013.
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    His final concert was held in Knoxville at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum on April 6, 2013.
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  • 2012
    Age 80
    On August 14, 2012, Jones announced his farewell tour, the Grand Tour, with scheduled stops at 60 cities.
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    On March 29, 2012, Jones was hospitalized with an upper respiratory infection.
    More Details Hide Details Months later, on May 21, Jones was hospitalized again for his infection and was released five days later.
    In 2012, Jones received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
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  • 2008
    Age 76
    Jones also served as judge in 2008 for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers. and Rolling Stone named him number 43 in their 100 Greatest Singers of All Time issue.
    More Details Hide Details An album titled Hits I Missed And One I Didn't, in which he covered hits he had passed on as well as a remake of his own "He Stopped Loving Her Today", would be released as his final studio album.
    In 2008, Jones received the Kennedy Center Honor along with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who, Barbra Streisand, Morgan Freeman and Twyla Tharp.
    More Details Hide Details President George W. Bush disclosed that he had many of Jones' songs on his iPod.
  • 2003
    Age 71
    He appeared at a televised Johnny Cash Memorial Concert in 2003, singing "Big River" with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.
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    After the accident, Jones went on to release The Gospel Collection in 2003, which Billy Sherrill came out of retirement to produce.
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  • 1999
    Age 67
    On March 6, 1999, Jones was involved in an accident when he crashed his sport utility vehicle near his home.
    More Details Hide Details He was rushed to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was released two weeks later. In May of that year, Jones pleaded guilty to drunk driving charges related to the accident. (In his memoir published three years earlier, Jones admitted that he sometimes had a glass of wine before dinner and that he still drank beer occasionally but insisted, "I don't squirm in my seat, fighting the urge for another drink" and speculated, " perhaps I'm not a true alcoholic in the modern sense of the word. Perhaps I was always just an old fashion drunk.") The crash was a significant turning point, as he explained to Billboard in 2006: " when I had that wreck I made up my mind, it put the fear of God in me. No more smoking, no more drinking. I didn't have to have no help, I made up my mind to quit. I don't crave it."
    Jones most popular song in his later years was "Choices", the first single from his 1999 studio album Cold Hard Truth.
    More Details Hide Details A video was also made for the song and Jones won another Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. The song was at the center of controversy when the Country Music Association invited Jones to perform it on the awards show, but required that he perform an abridged version. Jones refused and did not attend the show. Alan Jackson was disappointed with the association's decision and halfway through his own performance during the show he signaled to his band and played part of Jones' song in protest.
  • 1998
    Age 66
    On February 17, 1998, The Nashville Network premiered a group of television specials called The George Jones Show, with Jones as host.
    More Details Hide Details The program featured informal chats with Jones holding court with country's biggest stars old and new and, of course, music. Guests included Loretta Lynn, Trace Adkins, Johnny Paycheck, Lorrie Morgan, Merle Haggard, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Charley Pride, Bobby Bare, Patty Loveless and Waylon Jennings, among others. While Jones remained committed to "pure country", he worked with the top producers and musicians of the day and the quality of his work remained high. Some significant performances include "I Must Have Done Something Bad", "Wild Irish Rose", "Billy B. Bad" (a sarcastic jab at country music establishment trendsetters), "A Thousand Times A Day", "When The Last Curtain Falls" and the novelty "High-Tech Redneck".
  • 1996
    Age 64
    In 1996, Jones released his autobiography I Lived To Tell It All with Tom Carter and the irony of his long career was not lost on him, with the singer writing in its preface, "I also know that a lot of my show-business peers are going to be angry after reading this book.
    More Details Hide Details So many have worked so hard to maintain their careers. I never took my career seriously, and yet it's flourishing." He also pulled no punches about his disappointment in the direction country music had taken, devoting a full chapter to the changes in the country music scene of the 1990s that saw him removed from radio playlists in favor of a younger generation of pop-influenced country stars. (Jones had long been a critic of country pop, and along with Wynette and Jean Shepard, he was one of the major backers of the Association of Country Entertainers, a guild promoting traditional country sounds that was founded in 1974; Jones's divorce from Wynette was a factor in the Association's collapse.) Despite his absence from the country charts during this time, latter-day country superstars such as Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, and many others often paid tribute to Jones while expressing their love and respect for his legacy as a true country legend who paved the way for their own success.
  • 1992
    Age 60
    Despite the lack of radio airplay, Jones continued to record and tour throughout the 1990s and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame by Randy Travis in 1992.
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    His last album to have significant radio airplay was 1992's Walls Can Fall, which featured the novelty song "Finally Friday" and "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair," a testament to his continued vivaciousness in old age.
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  • 1991
    Age 59
    His first album with MCA, And Along Came Jones, was released in 1991 and, backed by MCA's powerful promotion team and producer Kyle Lehning (who had produced a string of hit albums for Randy Travis), the album sold better than his previous one had.
    More Details Hide Details However, two singles, "You Couldn't Get The Picture" and "She Loved A Lot In Her Time" (a tribute to Jones' mother Clara), did not crack the top 30 on the charts as Jones lost favor with country radio as the format was altered radically during the early 1990s.
  • 1990
    Age 58
    In 1990, Jones released his last proper studio album on Epic, You Oughta Be Here With Me.
    More Details Hide Details Although the album featured several stirring performances, including the lead single "Hell Stays Open All Night Long" and the Roger Miller-penned title song, the single did poorly and Jones made the switch to MCA, ending his relationship with Sherrill and what was now Sony Music after 19 years.
  • 1989
    Age 57
    Former vice president of CBS Records Rick Blackburn recalls in the 1989 video Same Ole Me that the event had been hyped for weeks, with a lot of top press and cast members from Saturday Night Live planning to attend. "We'd made our plans, travel arrangements and so forth.
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    Former president of Starday Records Don Pierce told director Mark Hall in 1989 another famous story about Jones after Pappy Daily bailed him out of the drunk tank and got him a gig in Houston for $2,500.
    More Details Hide Details The next day Jones came to Dailey's office broke again. According to Pierce, an irritated Dailey said, "Well, George, you just made $2,500 but I talked to some of the guys you were out partying with and they said you went and flushed it down the toilet." "Pappy, that's a damn lie!" Jones shot back. "It wasn't but $1,200." Jones explained to Country Weekly in his last ever interview two months before his death, "I started on Cokes and it just got the best of me. It'll do that to entertainers if you're not strong. I'm in a business that can't keep away from people drinking." On tour Jones was always backed by the Jones Boys. Like Buck Owens' Buckaroos and Merle Haggard's Strangers, Jones worked with many musicians who were great talents in their own right. These included Dan Schafer, Hank Singer, Brittany Allyn, Sonny Curtis, Kent Goodson, Bobby Birkhead, and Steve Hinson. In the 1980s and 1990s, bass player Ron Gaddis served as the Jones Boys' bandleader and sang harmony with George in concert. Lorrie Morgan (who married Gaddis) also toured as a backup singer for Jones in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Johnny Paycheck was the Jones Boys' bass player in the 1960s before going on to his own stardom in the 1970s.
  • 1985
    Age 53
    Jones' video for his 1985 hit "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" won the CMA award for Video of the Year (Billy Sherrill makes a cameo as the bus driver).
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  • 1984
    Age 52
    In March 1984 in Birmingham, Alabama - at the age of 52 - Jones performed his first sober show since the early seventies. "All my life it seems like I've been running from something," he told the United Press International in June. "If I knew what it was, maybe I could run in the right direction.
    More Details Hide Details But I always seem to end up going the other way." Jones began making up many of the dates he had missed, playing them for free to pay back promoters, and began opening his concerts with "No Show Jones", a song he had written with Glen Martin that poked fun at himself and other country singers. Jones always stressed that he was not proud of the way he treated loved ones and friends over the years and was ashamed of disappointing his fans when he missed shows, telling Billboard in 2006 that "I know it hurt my fans in a way and I've always been sad about that, it really bothered me for a long time." Mostly sober for the rest of the 1980s, Jones consistently released albums with Sherrill producing, including Shine On, Jones Country, You've Still Got A Place In My Heart, Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes, Wine Colored Roses (an album Jones would tell Jolene Downs in 2001 was one of his personal favorites), Too Wild Too Long and One Woman Man.
  • 1983
    Age 51
    He married his fourth wife, Nancy Sepulvado, in 1983.
    More Details Hide Details He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992, despite leading a boycott of the country radio, an expression of his distaste for popular country music of the time. He had one last big hit in 1999 with "Choices (George Jones song)", after a near-fatal car accident. The song won him another Grammy award. Jones released his last album in 2005, and retired from recording. He continued to perform.
    Jones managed to quit cocaine but went on a drunken rampage in Alabama in the fall of 1983 and was once again straitjacketed and committed to Hillcrest Psychiatric Hospital suffering from malnutrition and delusions.
    More Details Hide Details But by this time, physically and emotionally exhausted, he really did want to quit drinking.
  • 1981
    Age 49
    In 1981, Jones met Nancy Sepulvado, a 34-year-old divorcée from Mansfield, Louisiana.
    More Details Hide Details Sepulvado's positive impact on Jones' life and career cannot be understated; she eventually cleaned up his finances, kept him away from his drug dealers (who reportedly kidnapped her daughter in retaliation), and managed his career. Jones always gave her complete credit for saving his life. Nancy, who did not drink, explained to Nick Tosches in 1994, "He was drinking but he was fun to be around. It wasn't love at first sight or anything like that. But I saw what a good person he was, deep down, and I couldn't help caring about him."
    Jones continued drinking and using cocaine, appearing at various awards shows to accept honors for "He Stopped Loving Her Today" arguably inebriated; like when he performed "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" with Barbara Mandrell at the 1981 Country Music Association Awards.
    More Details Hide Details He was involved in several high speed car chases with police, which were reported on the national news, and one arrest was filmed by a local TV crew; the video, which is widely available online, offers a glimpse into Jones' alter ego when drinking, as he argues with the police officer and lunges at the camera man. Conversely, when sober, Jones was known to be friendly and down to earth, even shy. In a 1994 article on Jones, Nick Tosches remarked that when he first interviewed the singer in April 1976, "One could readily believe the accounts by those who had known him for years: that he had not changed much at all and that he had been impervious to fame and fortune." In an unusually unguarded self-appraisal in 1981, the singer told Mark Rose of The Village Voice, "I don't show a lot of affection. I have probably been a very unliked person among family, like somebody who was heartless. I saved it all for the songs. I didn't know you were supposed to show that love person to person. I guess I always wanted to, but I didn't know how. The only way I could would be to do it in a song." Years later he commented to The Christian Broadcasting Network's Scott Ross about himself, "I think you're mad at yourself, I think that you're sayin' to yourself 'You don't deserve this.
  • 1980
    Age 48
    Jones earned the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1980.
    More Details Hide Details The Academy of Country Music awarded the song Single of the Year and Song of the Year in 1980. It also became the Country Music Association's Song of the Year in both 1980 and 1981. The success of "He Stopped Loving Her Today" led CBS Records to renew Jones' recording contract and sparked new interest in the singer. He was the subject of an hour-and-a-quarter long HBO television special entitled George Jones: With a Little Help from His Friends, which saw the wan singer performing songs with Waylon Jennings, Elvis Costello, Tanya Tucker, and Tammy Wynette, among others.
    By 1980, Jones had not had a number one single in six years and many critics began to write him off.
    More Details Hide Details However, the singer stunned the music industry in April when "He Stopped Loving Her Today" was released and shot to number one on the country charts, remaining there for an astonishing 18 weeks. The song was written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman and tells the story of a friend who has never given up on his love; he keeps old letters and photos from back in the day and hangs on to hope that she would "come back again". The song reaches its peak in the chorus, revealing that he indeed stopped loving her when he died and the woman does return—for his funeral. In a lesser singer's hands, the song might have sounded corny or even comical but Jones' interpretation, buoyed by his brilliant delivery of the line " first time I'd seen him smile in years", gives it a mournful, gripping realism. It is consistently voted as the greatest country song of all time, along with "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams and "Crazy" by Patsy Cline.
    When he finally played the Bottom Line in 1980, the New York Times called him "the finest, most riveting singer in country music."
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  • 1979
    Age 47
    Jones often displayed a sheepish, self-deprecating sense of humor regarding his dire financial standing and bad reputation. In June 1979, he appeared with Waylon Jennings on Ralph Emery's syndicated radio program and at one point Jennings cracked, "It's lonely at the top."
    More Details Hide Details A laughing Jones replied, "It's lonely at the bottom, too! It's real, real lonely, Waylon." Despite his chronic unreliability, Jones was still capable of putting on a captivating live show. On Independence Day, 1976, he appeared at Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Picnic in Gonzales, Texas in front of 80,000 younger, country rock oriented fans. A nervous Jones felt out of his comfort zone and nearly bolted from the festival but went on anyway and wound up stealing the show. The Houston Post wrote, "He was the undisputed star of this year's Willie Nelson picnic one of the greatest." Penthouse called him " the spirit of country music, plain and simple, its Holy Ghost". The Village Voice added "As a singer he is as intelligent as they come, and should be considered for a spot in America's all-time top ten." Jones began missing more shows than he made, however, including several highly publicized dates at the Bottom Line club in New York City.
    In his article "The Devil In George Jones", Nick Tosches states, "By February 1979 he was homeless, deranged, and destitute, living in his car and barely able to digest the junk food on which he subsisted.
    More Details Hide Details He weighed under a hundred pounds, and his condition was so bad that it took him more than two years to complete My Very Special Guests, an album on which Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Elvis Costello, and other famous fans came to his vocal aid and support. Jones entered Hillcrest Psychiatric Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. Upon his release in January 1980, the first thing he did was pick up a six-pack."
    Curiously, in her 1979 autobiography Stand By Your Man, Tammy Wynette claims the incident occurred while she was married to Jones, maintaining that she woke up at one o'clock in the morning to find her husband gone: "I got into the car and drove to the nearest bar 10 miles away.
    More Details Hide Details When I pulled into the parking lot there sat our rider-mower right by the entrance. He'd driven that mower right down a main highway. He looked up and saw me and said, ‘Well, fellas, here she is now. My little wife, I told you she'd come after me.’"
  • 1978
    Age 46
    In 1978, owing Wynette $36,000 in child support and claiming to be one million dollars in debt, he filed for bankruptcy.
    More Details Hide Details Jones appeared incoherent at times, speaking in quarrelling voices that he would later call "the Duck" and "the Old Man".
  • 1975
    Age 43
    After his divorce from Wynette in 1975, Jones married his fourth wife, Nancy Sepulvado, in 1983 and became mostly sober.
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  • 1974
    Age 42
    In Sherrill, Jones found what Andrew Meuller of Uncut described as "the producer capable of creating the epically lachrymose arrangements his voice deserved and his torment demanded He summoned for Jones the symphonies of sighing strings that almost made the misery of albums like 1974's The Grand Tour and 1976's Alone Again sound better than happiness could possibly feel."
    More Details Hide Details In 1974, they scored a number one hit with the instant classic "The Grand Tour" and followed that with "The Door" (I've heard the sound of my dear old mother cryin'/and the sound of the train that took me off to war), another number one smash. Unlike most singers, who might have been overwhelmed by the string arrangements and background vocalists Sherrill sometimes employed on his records, Jones' voice, with its at times frightening intensity and lucid tone, could stand up to anything. While Jones wrote fewer songs himself - songwriters had been tripping over themselves pitching songs to him for years - he still managed to co-write several, such as "What My Woman Can't Do" (also recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis), "A Drunk Can't Be A Man", the harrowing "I Just Don't Give a Damn" (perhaps the greatest "lost classic" in the entire Jones catalogue) and "These Days (I Barely Get By)", which he had written with Wynette.
  • 1971
    Age 39
    In 1971, he began to record with Tammy Wynette (whom he had married in 1970).
    More Details Hide Details Their 1973 song, "We're Gonna Hold On" rose to #1 and two songs in 1976 peaked at #1 ("Golden Ring" and "Near You"). After his switch to Epic Records, Jones began recording some of his fans' favorite songs: 1972's "A Picture of Me (Without You)", 1973's "What My Woman Can't Do", 1974's #1 hits "The Grand Tour" and "The Door", 1976's "Her Name Is", and 1978's "Bartender's Blues". Unfortunately, Jones' health began to deteriorate severely. His dependence on drugs and alcohol reduced him to a 170-pound shell. He began hallucinating and missing shows and tours, which later gave him the title 'No Show Jones'. He began to sing horribly and filed for bankruptcy in 1979. He hadn't had a #1 hit in 6 years by 1980. However, his image was completely revitalized in 1980, when he released a song that is widely considered the greatest country song of all time, "He Stopped Loving Her Today". The song won him multiple awards including a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. He gave the song the credit due later saying "a four-decade career had been salvaged by a three-minute song."
  • 1970
    Age 38
    In October 1970, shortly after the birth of their only child Tamala Georgette, Jones was straitjacketed and committed to a padded cell at the Watson Clinic in Lakeland, Florida after a drunken bender; he was kept there to detoxify for ten days before being released with a prescription for Librium.
    More Details Hide Details Jones managed longer stretches of sobriety with Wynette than he had enjoyed in years but as the decade wore on his drinking and erratic behavior worsened, leading to the couple's divorce in 1976. Jones accepted the responsibility for the failure of the marriage but vehemently denied Wynette's allegations in her autobiography that he beat her and fired a shotgun at her. Remarkably, Jones and Wynette continued playing shows and drawing crowds in the years after their divorce, as fans began to see their songs mirroring their stormy relationship. In 1980, they recorded the album Together Again and scored a hit with "Two Story House". Jones also spoke publicly about his hopes for a reconciliation and would jokingly reference Tammy in some of his songs - during performances of his 1981 hit "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)" he would sing "Tammy's memory will" - but the recrimination continued unabated. After years of sniping, Jones and Wynette appeared to make peace in the 1990s, recording a final album, One, and even touring together again before Wynette's death in 1998. In 1995 Jones told Country Weekly, "Like the old saying goes, it takes time to heal things and they've been healed quite a while."
  • 1969
    Age 37
    In 1969, he began his relationship with country singer, Tammy Wynette.
    More Details Hide Details This would greatly influence his career in the 70's. After switching to Musicor in 1965, he had a #1 hit in "Walk Through This World with Me" in 1967. He began recording with Billy Sherrill in 1970, and Sherrill tried to keep Jones to record songs more toned to countrypolitan and not as loud. In 1970, his first hit with Sherrill was 1970's "Good Year for the Roses" witch peaked at #2.
    Jones professed his love for Wynette on the spot and the couple were married in 1969.
    More Details Hide Details They began touring together and Jones bought out his contract with Musicor so he could record with Tammy and her producer Billy Sherrill on Epic Records (the singer had split with longtime producer Pappy Daily on acrimonious terms). Jones and Wynette became known as "Mr. & Mrs. Country Music" in the early 1970s, scoring several big hits, including "We're Gonna Hold On," "Let's Build A World Together", "Golden Ring", "Near You," and "(We're Not) The Jet Set". When asked about recording Jones and Wynette, Sherill told Dan Daley in 2002, "It did increase my scotch intake some. We started out trying to record the vocals together, but George drove Tammy crazy with his phrasing. He never, ever did it the same way twice. He could make a five-syllable word out of 'church.' Finally, Tammy said, 'Record George and let me listen to it, and then do my vocal after we get his on tape.' Tammy was a very quick study."
  • 1968
    Age 36
    However, through extensive tours and recording sessions, Jones's dependence on alcohol and pills drove his second wife away, and they divorced in 1968.
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    His second marriage ended in divorce in 1968; he married fellow country music singer Tammy Wynette a year later.
    More Details Hide Details Many years of alcoholism caused his health to deteriorate severely and led to his missing many performances, earning him the nickname "No Show Jones."
  • 1966
    Age 34
    Jones became aware of Tammy Wynette because their tours were booked by the same agency and their paths sometimes crossed after Wynette's first minor hit "Apartment #9" in 1966, which was written by Johnny Paycheck.
    More Details Hide Details Wynette was married to songwriter Don Chapel, who was also the opening act for her shows at the time. The three became friends but eventually Jones took more than a passing fancy to Wynette, who was eleven years his junior and grew up listening to all of his records. According to his autobiography, Jones went to their house for supper and while she was fixing the meal Wynette and Chapel got into a heated exchange with Chapel calling his wife "a son of a bitch". Jones wrote: "I felt rage fly all over me. I jumped from my chair, put my hands under the dinner table, and flipped it over. Dishes, utensils, and glasses flew in all directions. Don's and Tammy's eyes got about as big as the flying dinner plates."
  • 1962
    Age 30
    Jones signed with United Artists in 1962 and immediately scored one of the biggest hits of his career, "She Thinks I Still Care".
    More Details Hide Details His voice had grown noticeably deeper during this period and he began cultivating the singing style that became uniquely his own. During his stint with UA, Jones recorded tribute albums to Hank Williams and Bob Wills and cut an album of duets with Melba Montgomery, including the hit "We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds". Jones was also well on his way to gaining a reputation as a notorious hell-raiser. In his Rolling Stone tribute Merle Haggard recalls:
  • 1959
    Age 27
    In 1959, Jones had his first number one on the Billboard country chart with "White Lightnin'", ironically a more authentic rock and roll sound than his half-hearted rockabilly cuts.
    More Details Hide Details In the Same Ole Me retrospective, Johnny Cash insisted, "George Jones woulda been a really hot rockabilly artist if he'd approached it from that angle. Well, he was, really, but never got the credit for it." "White Lightnin'" was written by J.P. Richardson, better known as the Big Bopper. In I Lived To Tell It All, Jones confessed that he showed up for the recording session under the influence of a great deal of alcohol and it took him approximately 80 takes just to record his vocals. To make matters worse, Buddy Killen, who played the upright bass on the recording, was reported as having severely blistered fingers from having to play his bass part 80 times. Killen not only threatened to quit the session, but also threatened to physically harm Jones for the painful consequences of Jones' drinking. On the final vocal take used on the recording Jones slurs the word "slug", something he would mimic in live performances of the song along with using his southern drawl.
  • 1957
    Age 25
    In early 1957 Jones teamed up with singer Jeannette Hicks, the first of several duet partners he would have over the years, and enjoyed yet another Top Ten single with "Yearning."
    More Details Hide Details Starday Records merged with Mercury that same year, and Jones scored high marks on the charts with his debut Mercury release of "Don't Stop the Music." Meanwhile, George was travelling the black-top roads in a 1940s Packard with his name and phone number emblazoned on the side. Although he was garnering a lot of attention and his singles were making very respectable showings on the charts, Jones was still playing the "blood bucket" circuit of honky-tonks that dotted the rural countryside.
    Jones moved to Mercury in 1957.
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  • 1956
    Age 24
    With Presley's explosion in popularity in 1956, pressure was put on Jones to cut a few rockabilly sides and he reluctantly agreed.
    More Details Hide Details His heart was never in it, however, and he quickly regretted the decision; in his autobiography he joked, "During the years, when I've encountered those records, I've used them for Frisbees." He explained to Billboard in 2006: "I was desperate. When you're hungry, a poor man with a house full of kids, you're gonna do some things you ordinarily wouldn't do. I said, 'Well, hell, I'll try anything once.' I tried 'Dadgum It How Come It' and 'Rock It', a bunch of shit. I didn't want my name on the rock and roll thing, so I told them to put Thumper Jones on it and if it did something, good, if it didn't, hell, I didn't want to be shamed with it." Jones went on to say he unsuccessfully attempted to buy all the masters to keep the cuts from surfacing later, which they did.
    Jones was invited to sing at the Grand Ole Opry in 1956.
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  • 1955
    Age 23
    Jones' first hit came with "Why Baby Why" in 1955.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, while touring as a cast member of the Louisiana Hayride, Jones met and played shows with Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. "I didn't get to know him that well," Jones said of Presley to Nick Tosches in 1994. "He stayed pretty much with his friends around him in his dressing room. Nobody seemed to get around him much any length of time to talk to him." Jones would, however, remain a lifelong friend of Johnny Cash.
  • 1954
    Age 22
    He remarried in 1954 to Shirley Ann Corley.
    More Details Hide Details On October 9, 1955, his first son, Jeffrey Glenn Jones was born and on July 16, 1958, his second son, Brian Daily Jones, was born.
    Jones married Shirley Ann Corley in 1954.
    More Details Hide Details His first record, the self-penned "No Money in This Deal", was recorded on January 19, and appeared in February on Starday Records, beginning the singer's association with producer and mentor H.W. "Pappy" Daily. The song was actually cut in Starday Records' co-founder Jack Starnes' living room and produced by Starnes. Jones also worked at KTRM (now KZZB) in Beaumont around this time. Deejay Gordon Baxter told Nick Tosches that Jones acquired the nickname "possum" while working there: "One of the deejays there, Slim Watts, took to calling him George P. Willicker Picklepuss Possum Jones. For one thing, he cut his hair short, like a possum's belly. He had a possum's nose and stupid eyes, like a possum." During his early recording sessions, Daily admonished Jones for attempting to sound too much like his heroes Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell. In later years, Jones would have little good to say about the music production at Starday, recalling to NPR in 1996 that "it was a terrible sound. We recorded in a small living room of a house on a highway near Beaumont. You could hear the trucks. We had to stop a lot of times because it wasn't soundproof, it was just egg crates nailed on the wall and the big old semi trucks would go by and make a lot of noise and we'd have to start over again."
    He married Shirley Ann Corley in 1954.
    More Details Hide Details In 1959, Jones released a cover version of "White Lightning" by J. P. Richardson, which launched his career as a singer.
  • 1953
    Age 21
    He was enlisted in the States Marines until his discharge in 1953.
    More Details Hide Details He was stationed in San Jose, California for his entire service.
  • 1950
    Age 18
    He had married twice, once to Dorothy Bonvillion in 1950; however, the two filed for divorce in 1951.
    More Details Hide Details His first daughter, Susan Smith, was born on October 29, 1951.
    He married his first wife Dorothy Bonvillion in 1950, but they divorced in 1951.
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    Born in Texas, Jones first heard country music when he was seven and was given a guitar at the age of nine. He married his first wife, Dorothy Bonvillion, in 1950, and was divorced in 1951.
    More Details Hide Details He served in the United States Marine Corps until his discharge in 1953.
  • 1931
    George Glenn Jones was born on September 12, 1931 in Saratoga, Texas, and was raised in Colmesneil, Texas, with his brother and five sisters.
    More Details Hide Details His father, George Washington Jones, worked in a shipyard and played harmonica and guitar while his mother, Clara, played piano in the Pentecostal Church on Sundays. During his delivery, one of the doctors dropped Jones and broke his arm. When he was seven, his parents bought a radio and he heard country music for the first time. Jones recalled to Billboard in 2006 that he would lie in bed with his parents on Saturday nights listening to the Grand Ole Opry and insist that his mother wake him if he fell asleep so he could hear Roy Acuff or Bill Monroe. In his autobiography I Lived To Tell It All, Jones explains that the early death of his sister Ethel spurred on his father's drinking problem and, by all accounts, George Washington Jones could be physically and emotionally abusive to his wife and children when he drank. In the book George Jones: The Life and Times of a Honky Tonk Legend, Bob Allen recounts how George Sr. would return home in the middle of the night with his cronies roaring drunk, wake up a terrified George Jr., and demand that he sing for them or face a beating. In a CMT episode of Inside Fame dedicated to Jones' life, country music historian Robert K. Oermann marveled, "You would think that it would make him not a singer, because it was so abusively thrust on him.
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