You are still touring at 78 years old. What is it about the road that keeps you on it?
I would have to say it is the fans that keep me on it. I still love to entertain them and to connect with them.
“He Stopped Loving Her Today” has been called the greatest country song by some and one of the greatest by many others. What does that song mean to you, and how does it stand out from all the others you’ve recorded?
George Jones managed to shine despite a case of the sniffles. For 75 minutes Thursday night at Bass Performance Hall, country icon George Jones wrestled valiantly with his still-bristling voice. The 78-year-old singer was battling not only the havoc wreaked upon his body during his hell-raising days, but also a far more mundane malady: garden-variety sniffles, brought on by his allergies.
Despite the struggle, Jones – who was visibly irritated and paused frequently to blow his nose, in a vain effort to clear up his instrument – still displayed glimmers of soul, flashes of the Possum connecting with staples like “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Walk Through This,” “World With Me” and “I Always Get Lucky With You.” That inimitable voice, rich with heartache, cannot be silenced so easily. Indeed, much of the evening felt like outright defiance of nature: The spirit is still willing, and the flesh isn’t given a chance to be weak.