Many call him the greatest living country singer on the planet. But he won’t agree to that.
George Jones is a living legend, however - that, he’ll cop to. In his storied and expansive career, he’s had more than 150 Billboard hits, both as a solo artist and with an array of other musicians.
He recently took time to answer questions via email in advance of the two Oklahoma tour dates he has coming up. There is one thing he especially wants you to know: He wants y’all there.
1. Will you give us a “short list” of what will be on your set list at your Oklahoma shows?
A: The short list would be “The Race Is On,” “White Lightnin’,” “Whose Gonna Fill Their Shoes” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
2. You’re playing two Oklahoma shows. Will the set lists change?
A: No, the set list stays the same because we have lighting and videos that the operators have to know what order the songs are going to be played in.
3. You’ve often been called “the greatest living country singer.” Do you agree with that? And, what living country music singer do you admire and why?
A: No I don’t agree with that. … I appreciate the kind words, but I don’t think I am the greatest living country singer. I admire Alan Jackson because he keeps it country, or at least what I call country, and I love it.
4. What’s been the biggest life lesson you’ve learned from being a musician?
A: It isn’t glamorous like people think. It is hard work, away from your family and loved ones. You miss so many milestones in your children’s lives because you are gone all the time.
5. If there was anything else you’d rather be, what would you do? Why?
A: No, not really. From the time I was a little boy growing up in Texas and listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio, I have wanted to be a country music singer.
6. Do you have a favorite song that you just really enjoy performing? What is it and why? If not, why?
A: Well even though it is sad, I love to sing “He Stopped Loving Her Today” because that is the song every fan of mine wants to hear, and the reaction I get the minute I say … “He said I’ll love you till I die"… it is just overwhelming.
7. You still perform an array of venues, from colleges to casinos and festivals. That’s also a very broad age demographic. Why do you think so many people still relate so strongly to your music?
A: I think people relate to country music and the stories that are told through country music. I am still amazed to look out on audiences and see young and old alike singing along to every single song. It is a great feeling.
8. What’s your favorite thing to eat while you’re on the road?
A: Well, I love to eat at the Cracker Barrel because it is about as close to my wife Nancy’s good cooking as I can get. When she travels with me, we have a full kitchen on the bus, and she cooks for me just like we are at home.
9. Will you please share something funny with us that your fans may not know about you?
A: It isn’t really funny, but one thing most fans don’t know about me is that I love to get on my tractor and mow the grass at my farm in Nashville. I truly enjoy the solitude of getting on that tractor where there are no phones, faxes, email or anything else to bother me.
10. Anything else you’d like to add?
A: THANK YOU! Hope to see you at the show!