Friday, April 26, 2013

George Jones

If you think about it, it's amazing that he lived that long to tell it all.

George Jones was the voice of country music and his long and chaotic 81 years he had some of most honky tonk sounding and then later on some of the lush smoothed out country pop of his career with Epic Records. Basically he was the VOICE of country as far as I am concerned.

He may have made the most compelling country song ever with He Stopped Loving Her Today from the I Am What I Am album of 1980 but for myself I liked his uptempo stuff even more.  He could have made a decent rockabilly artist with his 1959 version of White Lightning or Revenoor Man which is to me is more rock than country but his sides recorded with the opportunistic Pappy Daily for Starday (Later farmed out to Musicor or RCA) are the stuff that legends are made of.  He married Tammy Wynette and moved to her label Epic and a twenty year plus working relationship with Billy Sherrill before they dropped him and he moved to MCA for the majority of 1990s.  His last big hit was Choices for Asylum in 1999.

His antics are legendary if you read his I Lived To Tell It All autobiography you'll come across a guy that out could out destroy a motel room or tour bus faster than Joe Walsh and Keith Moon together.  Drugs and alcohol damn near finished him back in the 1970s and a SUV crash in 1999 almost claimed him as well. A 1982 arrest for drunk driving was filmed and it showed perhaps the most unflattering video of Jones as he cursed the camera man and looked wasted and evil at the same time.  The volatile marriage to Tammy didn't last but Jones managed to find a keeper in Nancy Sepevlua (sic) his wife till the very end.   Although the hits dried up and country radio wouldn't play him anymore (the new country stations that is), Jones continued to tour to big crowds whereever he went.  Even after 81 years, his body simply wore out and George has moved on the Hillbilly Heaven in the skies with Buck, Waylon, Johnny and Hank.

A one of kind, never to be replaced.


Starman62 said...

Well said Crabby! He really was the voice of country. I never cared much for country as a young guy, but the classic country of the 50s,60s, 70s has really grown on me the last several years. If you need a country fix, it doesn't get any purer or more satisfying than George Jones.

R S Crabb said...

Amen Starbro

Funny how we used to poo pooed the country music back then but I find myself listening to more of it today and enjoying it more rather than the fake country crap on radio today. Nobody is gonna fill Mr. Jones shoes anytime soon. ;)