hot_dishPremieres 10/05 at 4 PM ET

Written by Hazel Smith

God blesses me every day. You’re not going to believe who came to my kitchen to tape an episode of CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks. Kenny Chesney calls him daddy. Bluegrass musicians Terry Eldredge and Terry Smith simply call him the greatest singer who ever lived – and so do I. Of course, I’m talking about the Possum – the great George Jones.

Follow up:

CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks will never be the same. Two hours of George Jones, followed by fried pies and tenderloin, is huge. Tune in to CMT on Oct. 5 for the show in its entirety.

The day he was at my house, George learned he will receive one of the the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 7. Other honorees Barbra Streisand, actor Morgan Freeman, choreographer Twyla Tharp and musicians Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry of the Who. A kind man with a big heart, George was overwhelmed to be a recipient of the honor.

“I m proud to be in the same category with folks like Johnny Cash and this year’s nominee, Barbra Streisand,” he said. “I’m just a country boy. I’ve sung country music all my life. I never dreamed anything like this would happen to me. I’m humble and proud.”

George came to visit with wife and manager Nancy Jones and daughter Georgette Jones. Georgette recently appeared on TV’s Sordid Lives: The Series where she appeared as the ghost of her late mother, Tammy Wynette. Georgette sang a couple of her mom’s songs. She’s also featured on George’s most recent album, Burn Your Playhouse Down: The Unreleased Duets, which features everybody from Keith Richards to Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and Marty Stuart. It includes the original song Georgette wrote about her dad, “Me, You and Time.”

George Jones has legendary status, but he sang “Happy Birthday” to my 15-year-old granddaughter, Tara Smith. More than a legend, he’s a real man.