SOME OF COUNTRY MUSIC'S FINEST JOIN THE LEGENDARY GEORGE JONES FOR A SPECIAL COLLECTION OF HIS MOST BELOVED HITS
God’s Country, to be Released October 17, Features a Grammy Award-Winning Cast, a Chart-Topping Set List, Original George Jones Music and Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes DVD
Nashville, Tenn. (October 2, 2006) - As fans and critics will attest, for much of the last 50 years, George Jones has set the standard in country music for writing and singing the quintessential country song.
To honor the music and celebrate the man, Category 5 Records, along with a multitalented roster of artists, veteran producer Billy Joe Walker Jr. and label CEO/co-producer Ray Termini, has created God’s Country, a collection of 10 signature George Jones tunes that epitomize traditional country music. The album, which features Jones singing the (new) title track and in a recent duet with Garth Brooks, showcases eight other artists–including Vince Gill, Sammy Kershaw, Pam Tillis, Tracy Lawrence, Joe Diffie, Tanya Tucker, Mark Chesnutt and newcomer Shonna Faegans –and top musicians performing Jones’ timeless classics.
“Nobody in the world sings like him. Nobody in the world can sing like him,” admits Gill. “It’s like trying to cover the Beatles.” But Jones, who recently celebrated his 75th birthday and more than 50 years in the business, is extremely proud of the collective effort from his friends.
“They all did such a great job, it sounds fresh and new,” says Jones. “I’m honored that Category 5 Records is so enthusiastic about this project and look forward to the single release.”
Slated as the debut single is the title track performed by George Jones (who appears courtesy of his long-time label Bandit Records). The “making of” this special George Jones recording as well as behind-the-scenes footage and interviews of several of the other artists was captured for an accompanying DVD.
“It is truly inspiring to work with this great legend,” says Producer and Category 5 Records A&R Executive Billy Joe Walker. “He is not only a legend but a wonderful person. When George lays down a track it’s magic and he can really make a producer look good. We had a great time making this album.”
Jones’ first number one hit in 1959, “White Lightning,” written by former DJ turned rock ‘n’ roll star J.P. Richardson (a.k.a. “The Big Bopper’) is spiritedly covered by Joe Diffie, who also teams with new Category 5 artist Shonna Faegans in a faithful medley of the Bobby Braddock/Rafe Van Hoy tune “Golden Rings” and “We’re Gonna Hold on,” written by Jones and Earl Montgomery. The 1981 Grammy Award-winning hit “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” consistently voted the “Greatest Country Song of All Time” and also co-written by Braddock, is covered by none other than Sammy Kershaw, whose rumbling vocal style has routinely been compared to that of Jones.
“It’s fun to once again rediscover how great some of these songs are,” remarks Gill, who contributes a compelling rendition of Dickey Lee’s “She Thinks I Still Care.”
Tanya Tucker offers her take on “Window Up Above,” which she calls “one of the greatest George Jones songs of all time.” As Tucker explains, “Once you have heard George Jones, it is hard not to be influenced by his music. It is hard to sing a George Jones song without putting the inflections he puts into it.” Indeed, as many of the stars featured on this album and other industry heavy hitters will tell you, they have Jones to thank for influencing their vocal style and delivery, leading to their own successful careers.
As Pam Tillis, who covers the sensual “Take Me” notes, “We’re just fortunate to be living in the same time as Jones, continuing to learn from the master and sharing his music with a new generation of admirers.”
Over the past half-century, George Jones has become one of the most influential recording artists and performers in history. He has charted more singles than any artist in any genre, and continues to perform, more than 100 concerts each year.