Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

RIP country legend George Jones

Most of what I know of George Jones comes second hand, via guys like Elvis Costello. But Jones was one of those old-school country guys who defined the genre (and probably what it’s become). And he probably doesn’t get enough credit from the younger set, who are more enamoured with Waylon, Willie and the boys. Jones was always around if you were looking, but he never got the cool-kid resurgence of Johnny Cash, let’s say.

Jones died this morning at 81. I am sure he’ll be fondly remembered at the Rodeo tonight, and at the Fresno Grand Opry next weekend.

This video of his classic “White Lighting,” is about as honky-tonk cool as it comes.

Responses to "RIP country legend George Jones"

blake says:

oh man, it’s time to bust out my dad’s old LP’s. “No-Show-Jones” and Hank Williams pretty much dominated the livingroom hi-fi back when I was a kid.

Eric says:

I had the distinguished honor of meeting George Jones after a tour in Iraq. He, a former Marine honored me and a friend with front row seats and backstage passes. He signed a photo for my grandmother. He was a stand up guy.

Ray Arthur says:

I met George several times over the years. The most memorable was,

In the early ‘80’s I was running a Country station in northern
Louisiana. We had a weekend Blue Grass show whose host Marvin
Desadair, knew everyone in Country music. One Sunday he got a
“slurred” call, “Marvin, you old SOB, it’s Jones. I’m in Mansfield (up
the road) at Nancy’s (then fiancée) parent’s house. I’ll come down to
the station and we can chat.” Marvin replied, “George you’re drunk.
Call me back sometime when your sober (click).”

The following Sunday Jones called back and he was sober. He told
Marvin he’d be at the station in :30 minutes. At this point there are
two things you need to know. The station was in the sticks and we had
the only soda machine for miles so the local kids would stop by to get
a Coke. And, George Jones was “apprehensive” around black people he
didn’t know.

An old beater pulled into the parking lot and a small black kid jumped
out to get a drink while his Dad waited in the car, with the motor
running. After Marvin helped the kid, he walked him to the front door
just in time to see George Jones’ white Lincoln Continental pulling
out of the parking lot, after seeing the Dad in the old car.

Fade out and fade back in to 1990 at the Universal Amphitheater for
the “Living Legends Tour” with Conway Twitty, George Jones, and a
drunken Merle Haggard. We had a group of radio station winners who
were meeting Conway and George, Merle was too “sick.” I spoke to
George and his lovely wife Nancy, who saved his life more than once,
and started to relate the story above, “You know George, funny story,
back in 1982, you had called Marvin Desadair at KRRP and…” With a
puzzled look on George’s face, Nancy gently put her hand on my arm and
said, “Ray, George really doesn’t remember much of the ‘80’s.”

I stopped, smiled, told him how great he was, and got a photo with
him. BTW, the concert was unbelievable.

blake says:

I wanna say, “God bless the love of a special woman.”….and “Thank God for the wonder of an artist like George Jones”. —thanks Ray for the stories. I’m gonna tag you someday for all the details.

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