by Robert Wilkinson
An icon of a hard livin’ country musician has just checked out.
George Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) was considered the greatest living country singer, and was revered in the genre for his ability to channel intense feelings via his distinctively Texas voice. As it was put by Waylon Jennings in his song "It's Alright," "If we all could sound like we wanted to, we'd all sound like George Jones."
He was a performer on the Louisiana Hayride with Elvis and Johnny Cash, and later did the Grand Old Opry. Grammy award winner, member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, wild boy, alcoholic, his marriages were a thing of legend, including his most famous one to Tammy Wynette. While his lifestyle was extraordinarily self-destructive, he made it to 81, which isn’t bad. For your remembrance, Mister George Jones.
From New York in 1965, a live television performance of “White Lightning” (1959)
The original studio version of “Tender Years” (1961)
From the Grand Old Opry in 1962, a live television performance of “She Thinks I Still Care” (1962)
From 1980 on the Ronny Prophet Show in Toronto, George live doing his hit “The Race Is On” (1965)
From 1973, a live television performance on Hee Haw of “We’re Gonna Hold On” (with Tammy Wynette) (1973)
Here’s a live television performance on the Grand Old Opry of his Grammy award-winning “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (1980)
From 1981’s Country Music Awards, a live television performance of “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” (with Barbara Mandrell) (1981)
The original studio version of “Yesterday’s Wine” (with Merle Haggard) (1982)
Here’s a live performance at the 2003 Johnny Cash Tribute by George Jones, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson doing “Big River”
For our closer, from the Johnny Cash Show, a live performance by George Jones of a medley of “White Lightning,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” “Love Bug,” “The Race Is On”
RIP George. You were one of the best at what you did.
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson