George Jones

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George Jones

George Jones performing at Harrah's Metropolis in Metropolis, Illinois in June 2002
Background information
Birth nameGeorge Glenn Jones
Also known asNo Show Jones[1]
The Possum[1]
Born(1931-09-12) September 12, 1931 (age 81)
Saratoga, Texas, United States
OriginVidor, Texas, United States
GenresCountry
OccupationsSinger-songwriter
InstrumentsAcoustic guitar
Vocals
Years active1954–present
LabelsStarday
Mercury
United Artists
Musicor
Epic
MCA Nashville
Asylum
Bandit
Associated actsTammy Wynette, Merle Haggard
Websitewww.GeorgeJones.com
 
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George Jones

George Jones performing at Harrah's Metropolis in Metropolis, Illinois in June 2002
Background information
Birth nameGeorge Glenn Jones
Also known asNo Show Jones[1]
The Possum[1]
Born(1931-09-12) September 12, 1931 (age 81)
Saratoga, Texas, United States
OriginVidor, Texas, United States
GenresCountry
OccupationsSinger-songwriter
InstrumentsAcoustic guitar
Vocals
Years active1954–present
LabelsStarday
Mercury
United Artists
Musicor
Epic
MCA Nashville
Asylum
Bandit
Associated actsTammy Wynette, Merle Haggard
Websitewww.GeorgeJones.com

George Glenn Jones (born September 12, 1931) 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]

Contents

Biography

Early life

George Glenn Jones was born on September 12, 1931 in Saratoga, Texas, and was raised in Vidor, Texas, with his brother and five sisters.[5] When he was seven, his parents bought a radio and he heard country music for the first time. Given a guitar when he was nine, Jones was soon busking for money on the streets of Beaumont.

He left home at 16 and went to Jasper, Texas, where he sang and played on the radio station. He married his first wife Dorothy when he was 19, but they divorced within a year. The Korean War was underway, and he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He was stationed in California for his entire service. Not long after his discharge, his music career took off.[6]

Wild years

Jones's identity was closely tied to his alcoholism. One of the best known stories of Jones' drinking days happened when he was married to his second wife, Shirley Corley. Jones recalled Shirley making it physically impossible for him to travel to Beaumont, located 8 miles away, and buy liquor. Because Jones would not walk that far, she would hide the keys to each of their cars they owned before leaving. She did not, however, hide the keys to the lawn mower. Jones recollects being upset at not being able to find any keys before looking out the window and at a light that shone over their property. He then described his thoughts, saying: "There, gleaming in the glow, was that ten-horsepower rotary engine under a seat. A key glistening in the ignition. I imagine the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour. It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did."[7]

In her 1979 autobiography, former wife Tammy Wynette recalled waking at 1 AM to find her husband gone: "I got into the car and drove to the nearest bar 10 miles away. When I pulled into the parking lot there sat our rider-mower right by the entrance. He'd driven that mower right down a main highway. He looked up and saw me and said, `Well, fellas, here she is now. My little wife, I told you she'd come after me.'"[8]

Jones later jokingly sang of the lawn mower incident in his 1996 single "Honky Tonk Song", and parodied his arrest in the music video.

In the 1970s, a manager introduced Jones to cocaine before a show, because he was too tired to perform. His self-destructive behavior brought him close to death and he was in an Alabama psychiatric hospital by the end of the decade. Celebrated by some of his fans as the hard-drinkin', fast-livin' spiritual-son of his idol, Hank Williams, Jones missed so many engagements that he gained the nickname of "No-Show Jones." (The song "No-Show Jones" makes fun of Jones and other country singers.) He was often penniless and admits that Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash came to his financial aid during this time.

Poking fun at his past, three country music videos would feature Jones arriving on a riding lawn mower. The first was Hank Williams, Jr's "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" in 1984 while the second was Vince Gill's "One More Last Chance" in 1993. Gill's song mentioned the mower with the lines "She might have took my car keys, but she forgot about my old John Deere." At the end of Gill's video, he is leaving the golf course on a John Deere tractor and greets Jones with "Hey, possum." Jones, arriving at the golf course driving a John Deere riding lawn mower with a set of golf clubs mounted behind him, replies to Gill "Hey, sweet pea." The third is John Rich's "Country Done Come to Town" and shows George mowing grass on the rooftop on a zero turn mower.

The Jones Boys band

Over the years, George Jones has worked with many musicians who have found success in Nashville as session players and singers. These include Dan Schafer,[9] Hank Singer, Johnny Paycheck, Brittany Allyn, Sonny Curtis, Ron Gaddis, Kent Goodson, Bobby Burkhead, and Steve Hinson.

Marriages

Jones was married twice before he was 24. His 1950 marriage to Dorothy Bonvillion lasted a year, but they had a daughter, Susan. In 1954, Jones married Shirley Ann Corley. This marriage lasted until 1968 and produced two sons, Jeffrey and Bryan. He married Tammy Wynette in 1969. They stayed married for six years and had a daughter, Tamala Georgette. As Georgette Jones, she is a country singer and has performed on stage with her father. Jones married his current wife, Nancy Sepulvado, on March 4, 1983 in Woodville, Texas. Nancy became his manager. Jones credits his wife Nancy for rescuing him from drinking and cocaine. They now live in Franklin, Tennessee.

Wives

Later years

On January 18, 2013, Jones announced his final concert was to be held on April 9, 2013, at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, and that an album with Dolly Parton is planned.[10]

Awards and honors

Jones has received many honors during his long career, from Most Promising New Country Vocalist in 1956, being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992, and being named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2008. In 2012 he was presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award. At the ceremony his longtime friend Merle Haggard paid tribute to him.[11]

He served as judge in 2008 for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[12]

Jones has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1956.[13][14]

Number one country hits

  1. "White Lightning" (1959)
  2. "Tender Years" (1961)
  3. "She Thinks I Still Care" (1962)
  4. "Walk Through This World with Me" (1967)
  5. "We're Gonna Hold On" (with Tammy Wynette) (1973)
  6. "The Grand Tour" (1974)
  7. "The Door" (1975)
  8. "Golden Ring" (with Tammy Wynette) (1976)
  9. "Near You" (with Tammy Wynette) (1977)
  10. "He Stopped Loving Her Today" (1980)
  11. "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" (with Barbara Mandrell) (1981)
  12. "Still Doin' Time" (1981)
  13. "Yesterday's Wine" (with Merle Haggard) (1982)
  14. "I Always Get Lucky with You" (1983)

Discography

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "GEORGE JONES MAKES PEACE WITH HIS NICKNAMES". http://www.georgejones.com/news.php/2009/12/21/george-jones-makes-peace-with-his-nickna. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  2. ^ "George Jones : Biography". CMT. 1931-09-12. http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/jones_george/bio.jhtml. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  3. ^ "Biography". http://www.allmusic.com/artist/george-jones-p1669. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  4. ^ "George jones announces the grand tour in 2013". http://www.georgejones.com/news.php/2012/08/14/george-jones-announces-the-grand-tour-in-2013. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  5. ^ Jones, George with Tom Carter (1997). I Lived To Tell It All. Dell Publishing. p. 8. ISBN 0-440-22373-3.
  6. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2003). All Music Guide to Country (2nd edition ed.). San Francisco, CA: Backbeat. p. 387. ISBN 0-87930-760-9.
  7. ^ Jones, George. (1996). I Lived to Tell It All. New York: Dell Publishing Company
  8. ^ Wynette, Tammy; Wynette, Dew and Wynette, Joan, "Stand By Your Man", 1979, New York: Simon and Schuster
  9. ^ "Dan Schafer Artist performances". www.DanSchafer.com. http://timashley.tripod.com/schafer_pic.html. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
  10. ^ Melissa Ruggieri (2013-01-18). "George Jones sets Atlanta date for final tour | Atlanta Music Scene". Blogs.ajc.com. http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-music-scene/2013/01/18/george-jones-sets-atlanta-date-for-final-tour/?cxntfid=blogs_atlanta_music_scene. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  11. ^ Haggard, Merle (2012-02-02). "Lifetime Achievement Award: George Jones". GRAMMY.com. http://www.grammy.com/news/lifetime-achievement-award-george-jones. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  12. ^ "Independent Music Awards". Independent Music Awards. http://www.independentmusicawards.com/ima_new/pastjudges.asp. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  13. ^ "George Jones". Grand Ole Opry. http://www.opry.com/artists/j/Jones_George.html. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
  14. ^ "Opry Member List PDF". April 23, 2012. http://www.opry.com/img/Opry%20Members%20List.pdf. Retrieved July 2, 2012.

Further reading

External links