Folks , I know you join me in sending our condolences to the family of George Jones who passed away today at 81. He was one of the greatest country singers we’ll ever know and I don’t think anyone can fill his shoes. I just can’t imagine this world without him. It was a great honor for me anytime I had the pleasure to open for him. I always hung backstage for his show and just tried to listen and learn. His phrasing and the pure emotion in his voice was just unmatched. He was a hero in this business. I’ll miss our dear and great friend and I hope you’ll each take time to remember him today. All the best to each of you, Gene
Here is what his publicity team sent out today.
GEORGE JONES DEAD AT 81
|Nashville, Tenn. (April 26, 2013) – Country Music Hall of Famer, Grand Ole Opry member, and Kennedy Center Honoree George Glenn Jones died Friday, April 26, 2013 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He was hospitalized April 18 with fever and irregular blood pressure.
Born September 12, 1931, Jones is regarded among the most important and influential singers in American popular music history. He was the singer of enduring country music hits including “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Grand Tour,” “Walk Through This World With Me,” “Tender Years” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” the latter of which is often at the top of industry lists of the greatest country music singles of all time.“A singer who can soar from a deep growl to dizzying heights, he is the undisputed successor of earlier natural geniuses such as Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell,” wrote Bob Allen in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s “Encyclopedia of Country Music.”
Jones was born in Saratoga, Texas, and he played on the streets of Beaumont for tips as a teenager. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps before returning to Texas and recording for the Starday label in Houston, Texas. In 1955, his “Why Baby Why” became his first Top 10 country single, peaking at number four and beginning a remarkable commercial string: Jones would ultimately record more than 160 charting singles, more than any other artist in any format in the history of popular music.
Jones’ first number one hit came in 1959 with “White Lightning,” a Mercury Records single that topped Billboard country charts for five weeks. He moved on to United Artists and then to Musicor, notching hits including “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Race Is On,” “A Good Year for the Roses” and “Walk Through This World With Me.”
Jones signed with Epic Records in 1971 and worked with producer Billy Sherrill to craft a sound at once elegant and rooted, scoring with “The Grand Tour,” “Bartenders Blues” and many more. Sherrill also produced duets between Jones and his then-wife Tammy Wynette, and in the 1970s they scored top-charting hits including “We’re Gonna Hold On,” “Golden Ring” and “Near You.”
By the time “Golden Ring” and “Near You” hit in 1976, Jones and Wynette were divorced, and Jones was battling personal demons. His solo career cooled until 1980, when he recorded “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” a ballad penned by Curly Putman and Bobby Braddock that helped Jones win Country Music Association prizes for best male vocal and top single. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” revived a flagging career, and Jones won the CMA’s top male vocalist award in 1980 and 1981. He also earned a Grammy for best male country vocal performance.
In 1983, Jones married the former Nancy Ford Sepulvado. The union, he repeatedly said, began his rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol and prolonged his life. He signed with MCA Records in 1990 and began a successful run, and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. His guest vocal on Patty Loveless’ “You Don’t Seem To Miss Me” won a CMA award for top vocal event in 1998, and it became his final Top 20 country hit.
In 1999, Jones nearly died in a car wreck, but he recovered and resumed touring and recording. He remained a force in music until his death, playing hundreds of shows in the new century and collecting the nation’s highest arts award, the Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement, in 2008. In late 2012, Jones announced his farewell tour, which was to conclude with a sold-out, star-packed show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2013. Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Charlie Daniels, Kenny Rogers, Sam Moore, The Oak Ridge Boys and many others were set to perform at Jones’ Bridgestone show.
Jones is survived by his loving wife of 30 years Nancy Jones, his sister Helen Scroggins, and by his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
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Don’t Miss Gene Watson on the Marty Stuart Show (RFD-TV ) or LIVE at Billy Bobs in Ft. Worth, TX Saturday April 20th!read more
Hi Friends – The band and I are about to arrive at Pace, FL for tomorrow’s show. There’s two words an entertainer likes to hear and that’s “Sold Out” — heard that today and that’s exciting. You know we’ve been coming to this area of Florida for many years and nothing gives us more pleasure than seeing so many friends and familiar faces.
My office is going to add a video here below that they took of an impromptu rehearsal backstage at the Ryman for the Jack Greene Memorial . I’ll be seeing it for the first time with you here so let’s keep our fingers crossed! I think it was shot blindfolded on an old I Phone but they convinced me you’d want to see how we sort of get a song rehearsed on the fly, so to speak. It’s definitely easier on me when I know I’m going to be working with the very best musicians like the great Jimmy Capps (guitar), Tim Atwood (piano)and Penn Pennington (Upright Bass). Then we had Moore & Moore plus Michele Capps singing beautiful harmonies. We had Jeff Cook from Alabama visiting so he jumped in at rehearsal too. Carrie Moore is my booking agent and Jimmy and Michele Capps are TV stars on Larry’s Country Diner (when they aren’t working at the Grand Ole Opry!). Penn was very close to Jack and produced at least one album for him. So we did this quick little run through, then sang it for the service. I just want to say how much I appreciate everyone shown in this video for a beautiful job, done in honor of our friend, Jack Greene.
Hope you have a great weekend, Gene