In Memoriam: George Jones (1931 – 2013)

April 26, 2013
Editor In Chief

George JonesNASHVILLE – Country Music Hall of Famer, Grand Ole Opry member, and Kennedy Center Honoree George Glenn Jones died early Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., the singer’s PR company said in a statement. He was hospitalized April 18 with fever and irregular blood pressure.

Born Sept. 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.

“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 wife of 30 years Nancy Jones, his sister Helen Scroggins, and by his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald   

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Country+music+legend+George+Jones+dead/8299898/story.html#ixzz2RZzfbF1V

George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931-April 26, 2013) 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.[2][3] 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 tales of 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.”[1] With the help of his fourth wife, Nancy, he has been sober for more than 10 years. Jones has 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 have given Jones the nickname “The Possum.” Jones said in an interview that he has chosen to tour only about 60 dates a year.

In August 2012, it was announced that at the conclusion of his 2013 tour, Jones’ would retire to spend more time with his family. Titled “The Grand Tour”, Jones’ final tour takes place across 60 dates [4]

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. – Wikipedia

 

 

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