I’ve been so wrapped up in life’s ‘important things’ this past week I’ve not seen the news or read the paper. So imagine the profound sadness I felt when I saw an old headline from a week ago…George Jones, King of the Honky Tonk, Dies at 81.
I am in no way able to put into words the influence this giant of the 20th century has had on everyone from Merle Haggard to Elvis Costello and Keith Richards. Indeed, here is the Rolling Stones' living fossil’s statement issued last Friday.
George Jones has left us. We have lost one of the most individual singers of all time. I cannot express the emptiness I feel.
George was as country as it can get, but he was beyond any bag you want to put him in. He was pure American music without ever waving a flag – you can hear a million imitations on the radio every day – but there was, and ever will be, only one George Jones.
He possessed the most touching voice, the most expressive ways of projecting that beautiful instrument of anyone I can call to mind. You heard his heart in every note he sang. Sinatra called him the second best singer ever. (The number one obviously being Frank!). I would contest that.
I truly loved 'the possum.' He was a crazy as me, and just as free… and, oh boy, could he hang.
For a full obit on the man they called the Frank Sinatra of country music, click here.
In a rush I’ve put together a mixtape of some of my favorite George Jones gems.
Rest in bloody peace, George! You’ve touched us all!
01 He Stopped Loving Her Today
02 You And Me And Time (With Georgette Jones)
03 Ain't Your Memory Got No Pride At All
04 If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)
05 Big Fool Of The Year
06 Cold Cold Heart
07 Relief Is Just A Swallow Away
08 Half A Mind
09 All Fall Down (feat. George Jones)
10 I Always Get It Right With You (With Shelby Lynne)
11 The Race Is On
12 Yesterday's Wine
13 A Good Year For The Roses
14 The Old Rugged Cross
15 Accidently On Purpose
16 Once A Day
17 Why Baby Why
18 Developing My Pictures
19 In The Garden
20 Amazing Grace
21 She Knows What She's Crying About