Hazel Smith -

My all-time favorite singer is George Jones, and my all-time favorite song is “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Did you know those are Alan Jackson’s favorites, too?

Tom T. Hall once said, “I’ve never talked to a country music performer who didn’t say his or her favorite singer was George Jones.” I recall Waylon Jennings singing a song that includes a line that goes something like, “If all of us could, we’d all sing like George Jones.” I also vividly remember Bill Monroe saying, “George Jones is a singer. The man can sing anything.”

Johnny Paycheck loved Jones, and so does Randy Travis. Melba Montgomery loves George’s singing. Their duets were classic. Emmylou Harris loves his singing, and so did Gram Parsons. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones loves the Possum and his singing. Ditto for Marty Stuart and his wife, Connie Smith. Kenny Chesney and Jamey Johnson adore George and his singing. Everybody worth the salt in their bread loves George’s singing.

Follow up:

Now George is not well.

“Not at all,” according to his wife Nancy.

When I spoke with her on the phone, she was nearly in tears as she explained, “He has allergies. It’s hard for George to breathe.”

She has been by George’s side for 30 years. She stayed with him when he was in the hospital. She’s his constant companion. She knows him better than anyone, and I can tell you, his well-being is a major concern for Nancy. Everyone in the music business – all of those I know, anyway – totally respect Nancy. Like me, they know Nancy has saved her man’s life many times.

He’s had to cancel some tour dates recently. According to his website, however, he’s scheduled to begin performing again with a May 25 concert at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.

I hope all of you will join me and others in prayer for George and Nancy. This is a man we need in country music.

George and Nancy, I love you. May God bless and heal you. more!