By CAITLIN KING
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Country Music Hall of Famer George Jones isn’t a big fan of where the genre has moved in recent years.
When asked about what he thought about music by today’s top country stars, the 78-year-old said while they are good, “they’ve stolen our identity.”
Jones made the comment during a recent interview when asked about music by artists like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift.
“They had to use something that was established already, and that’s traditional country music. So what they need to do really, I think, is find their own title, because they’re definitely not traditional country music,” he said.
“It’s good to know that we still do traditional country music. Alan Jackson still does it, so does George Strait. We still have it, and there’s quite a few of us that are going to hope that it comes back one of these days.”
Still, his contemporaries haven’t always stuck to traditional country, either. Fellow Hall of Fame member Johnny Cash was met with critical acclaim a few years ago by covering the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt.” Asked whether he’d ever branch out to a completely different genre of music, like heavy metal or rap, Jones laughed and said: “Rap? That’s tacky.”
“How can you call that music?” he added. “Now, I love music, too. I love all kinds. I really do. I’ve got Brook Benton. I like his singing. Ray Charles. I’ve got an open mind. But now, you can’t call rap, talking stuff like that, music. No, no, no, you’ve got to have another name for that.”
Jones recently put out a new CD, through Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, called “A Collection of My Best Recollection.” It includes some of his most requested songs from throughout his career, including classics like “White Lightning” and “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair,” as well as two previously unreleased ones.
“Only thing I would like to keep accomplishing is music for my fans and achieving some goals to keep them happy with what I record in the future,” Jones said. “I’ve done just about everything else. The good Lord’s been good to me … I’m going to enjoy the rest of my life.”