By Mark Bennett
There’s a school of thought regarding cross-genre duets that says “the stranger, the better.” This year’s Snoop Dog-Willie Nelson collaboration leaps to mind.
No such shock-value pairings appear on George Jones’ “Burn Your Playhouse Down: The Unreleased Duets.” Even his matchup with Keith Richards on the title track blends smoothly. The Rolling Stones guitarist coaxes the old bad-boy out of Jones as they trade lines of this you-done-me-wrong Lester Blackwell song, including “I’ve got an achin’ in my heart, and arson on my mind; I’m gonna burn your playhouse down.” Jones is 77, and Richards is 64, so we can only hope it’s more retrospective bluster than insidiousness.
George Jones University (GJU), the 2-day seminar program held twice each year, provides a unique and substantive learning environment for music industry hopefuls. Student “possums” attend classes at the Franklin, TN private ranch of George and Nancy Jones where successful entrepreneurs and industry executives provide the instruction.
GJU program topics include touring, performing, booking, management, finances, working with record labels and publishers, and other areas of interest presented by industry executives. Presenters speak about their area of expertise and then allow time for Q&A with the students.