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Monday, 12 September 2016

George Jones born 12 September 1931

George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) was an American musician, singer and songwriter who achieved international fame for his long list of hit records, including his most well known song "He Stopped Loving Her Today", as well as his distinctive voice and phrasing. For the last 20 years of his life, Jones was frequently referred to as the greatest living country singer.
The youngest of eight children, Jones was born in Saratoga, east Texas, in a region known as Big Thicket, a wooded oil-rich backwater on the edge of the Louisiana bayous. His father, also George, was a truck driver and oil worker who took solace in his guitar and the bottle. His mother, Clara, found comfort in music, sobriety and fundamentalist religion.
The young George absorbed all his parents' influences. He sang at church, got his first guitar at nine and was busking on the streets of Beaumont by the age of 11. He married his first wife, Dorothy, when he was 19; they divorced within a year and he joined the marines soon after.
He was in thrall to Roy Acuff and Williams; the latter told Jones not to copy him but to find his own voice. Jones listened but like
Williams headed straight for the honky-tonk. Jones's raw emotions fought through knots in his stomach and twists in his heart. Like Jerry Lee Lewis, the clash between God and the devil, drink and the divine, was the touchstone for his talent.
Shaping his style, Jones became a master of melisma, a gospel technique that involved the stretching of a syllable across several musical notes that were decorated and feathered at their ends for maximum emotional impact. His voice started with an open-throated wail, then clamped down with a keening tug as he rose into a cry, then swooped down into his rich baritone. The voice pines, the tension is never released and the emotion remains undiluted.

Out of the marines, Jones had his first country hit in 1955 with Why Baby Why, released on the Starday label. While Elvis Presley and rock'n'roll emerged, Jones plunged deeper into hard country. He went on to record for Mercury, United Artists, Musicor and Epic and enjoyed a long string of hits including White Lightning
(1959), Tender Years (1961), She Thinks I Still Care (1962), Walk Through This World with Me (1967) and The Grand Tour (1974), all of which reached No 1 in the US country charts.
When Jones released I'll Share My World with You in 1969, his fans knew it was Wynette he was singing about. She appeared on the cover of the album of the same name. Jones, after a divorce from his second wife, Shirley, married Wynette in 1969. Jones and Wynette were Mr and Mrs Country Music and their life together became a country soap opera, with every bottle drunk and thrown, every twist and turn in the road documented in song. Their divorce was marked by another gut-wrenching single, Golden Ring, released in 1976 – the year after they divorced. They christened their daughter Tamala Georgette; she later became the country singer Georgette Jones.
After their divorce, Wynette and Jones continued to tour and record together. Jones survived alcohol and cocaine abuse in the 1970s to enjoy a renaissance the following decade with hits such as the Grammy award-winning He Stopped Loving Her Today (1980), Still Doin' Time (1981) and I Always Get Lucky with You (1983). He sang of loss and denial, encyclopedically detailing alcoholism on songs such as the 1981 single If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will). "With the blood from my body," he sang in that song, "I could start my own still." His intense, heartbreaking honky-tonk still rang true through the subsequent decades when country music became "new country" and went limp.
Known as both Possum and No Show Jones, he could disappear before a show and be found two weeks later in a motel room with a bottle of whisky. His life stabilised after he married Nancy Sepulvado in 1983 and she became his manager. In 1999, Jones broke into the country album chart's Top 10 list with The Cold Hard Truth. That same year, it appeared that he had relapsed after getting into a serious car accident while intoxicated. He later claimed that the incident straightened him out for good.
More recently, Jones reunited with Merle Haggard for 2006's Kickin' Out the Footlights...Again. He became the subject of a tribute album, God's Country: George Jones and Friends, that same year. Vince Gill, Tanya Tucker and Pam Tillis were among the artists covering some of Jones's biggest hits, and Jones himself contributed a track to the recording. In 2008, he put out Burn Your Playhouse Down, a collection of previously unreleased duets with Dolly Parton, Keith Richards and Marty Stuart, among others.

In his later years, Jones continued to maintain a rigorous tour schedule, playing numerous dates across the country. After winning induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992, he received the National Medal of the Arts in 2002. A decade later, in 2012, he garnered one of the greatest honours of his career: a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
George Jones died on April 26, 2013, at the age of 81, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, after reportedly being hospitalized with irregular blood pressure and a fever.

With a career spanning more than 50 years, Jones is regarded as a country music icon, one of the genre's all-time greatest stars. His clear, strong voice and his ability to convey so many emotions won over thousands of fans, as well as the envy of his peers. As fellow country star Waylon Jennings once said, "If we could sound the way we wanted, we'd all sound like George Jones."
(Info edited from the Guardian obit &

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “GEORGE JONES - Don't Stop The Music” go here:

1. Into My Arms Again
2. Who Shot Sam
3. You Gotta Be My Baby
4. Mr. Fool
5. Time Lock
6. Candy Hearts
7. What'cha Gonna Do
8. Vitamins L-O-V-E
9. Don't Stop The Music
10. Accidentally On Purpose
11. All I Want To Do
12. Giveaway Girl
13. Cup Of Loneliness
14. A Wanderin' Soul
15. My Sweet Imogene
16. The Likes Of You
17. What Am I Worth
18. Boogie Woogie Mexican Boy
19. I'm With The Wrong One
20. With Half A Heart
21. Ship Of Love
22. The Honky Tonk Downstairs

A fantastic collection of Jones' Mercury-Starday recordings, now out of print. Some of the tunes here seem to be previously unavailable alternate versions, including "You Gotta Be My Baby". Includes liner scans.