National concert special on PBS to feed Thanksgiving Night

Thursday, November 25, 2004 - 10pm ET (Check local listings)

Nashville, TN November 10… Country music legend, George Jones, celebrates his 50th anniversary as a recording artist with a little help from his friends on the PBS broadcast, “George Jones, 50 Years of Hits: A Soundstage Special Event.” The two-hour all-star tribute feeds Thanksgiving night, Thursday, November 25 at 10pm ET. * Several PBS stations will air one-hour a version of the program Thanksgiving night; each market will air the full two-hour version in December or January (Check local listings). For a complete list of participating artists on each version, see below.

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Whether the times have favored honky-tonk songs or lushly produced “pop” offerings, George Jones has continued to make his brand of country music and produced hits in every decade of the second half of the 20th Century. In fact, Jones has had more charted singles than any other artist in any format of popular music.

SOUNDSTAGE recently traveled from their home studios in Chicago to Nashville’s BellSouth Acuff Theatre to capture an incredible star-studded concert salute to the extraordinary 50-year career of George Jones. His influence on artists of all genres is reflected in featured performances by everyone from Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney to Harry Connick, Jr. and Aaron Neville. The country icon himself joins in on a number of duets with several of his guests.

The SOUNDSTAGE special premieres on the heels of the Bandit Records release, George Jones - 50 Years of Hits, a 3-disc compilation featuring one song from each year of Jones’ career. The CD hit stores November 9.

At 73, George Jones continues to headline more than one hundred concerts a year and is already working on his next studio album, which he says will be “songs I wished I had recorded.”

SOUNDSTAGE is taped using high-definition video equipment and is digitally recorded and mixed in Dolby 5.1 surround sound. It is a co-production of WTTW National Productions & HD Ready Producer/Director: Joe Thomas/HDReady. Executive Producer: Randy King/WTTW National Productions. Line Producer: Nicolette Ferri/WTTW National Productions.

EDITORS NOTE: Downloadable photos are available at www.pbs.org/pressroom

George Jones, 50 Years of Hits (TWO-HOUR VERSION): Trace Adkins, Kenny Chesney, Harry Connick, Jr., Joe Diffie, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Emmylou Harris, Alan Jackson, Sammy Kershaw, Uncle Kracker, Kris Kristofferson, Shelby Lynne, Martina McBride, Lorrie Morgan, Aaron Neville, Connie Smith, Trick Pony, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker and Wynonna.

George Jones, 50 Years of Hits (ONE-HOUR VERSION): Kenny Chesney, Harry Connick, Jr., Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Lorrie Morgan, Aaron Neville, Trick Pony, Randy Travis, Wynonna.