by Chuck Dauphin, Nashville
January 24, 2013
Over the past six decades, George Jones has performed to countless fans. On February 2 in Tunica, Miss., that story will begin to come to an end with the launch of “The Grand Tour,” Jones’ final series of concerts – named after his classic 1974 chart-topper. The singer tells Billboard that while there are no regrets about his decision to retire from the road, his emotions are running high.
“It is a little bittersweet,” says the 1992 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee. “I have been blessed to do what I love for all these years and when I return to places that I know I will be performing for the last time it makes me a little nostalgic and sad. I will surely miss my fans and the good people I have met along this journey.”
In addition to the fans, Jones’ mind also goes back to the many artists he has shared a stage with over the years. When asked about a few tours that stand apart from the others, “The Possum” didn’t miss a beat. After recalling fond memories of touring with Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, he singled out the late Tammy Wynette, his wife between 1969-1975.
“We had been divorced for many years and each had different spouses but we came together for a five month tour in 1995,” he recalls. “The fans loved it and just about every show was sold out. They especially liked it when we would sing a duet and my wife Nancy and her husband George Richey would walk out on stage.”
Jones is also bringing the curtain down on his recording career, as well. After making records since the 1950s, (His first Billboard top ten was 1955’s “Why Baby Why") and placing more singles on the country chart than any other artist, he is also starting work on his final release, with the help of Dolly Parton.
“I love Dolly, always have and I am so honored to be doing a project with her,” he says. “She is writing most of the songs and we all know what a great songwriter she is. I am just waiting for her to tell me what to sing and when to sing it!”
Jones has worked with Parton before. Actually, he was the original artist to sing with her on 1991’s “Rockin’ Years” before Ricky Van Shelton.
Jones has also shared the microphone with several artists outside the country format – ranging from Harry Connick, Jr., James Taylor, Elvis Costello and Linda Ronstadt. What were some of his favorites? “All of the above,” he states. “Ray Charles, Keith Richards and Leon Russell also come to mind.” Jones’ 1962 classic “A Girl I Used To Know” was once cited by Charles as his favorite country song.
With so many artists calling him the world’s greatest country singer, how does Jones want to remembered? He has a simple answer. “I would like to be remembered as a singer who stayed true to country music and did it my way.”
By Matt Wake | firstname.lastname@example.org
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Country music legend George Jones’ final tour will make a stop in Huntsville.
The crooner is set to play the Von Braun Center Mark C. Smith Concert Hall 7:30 p.m. April 27. Tickets ($48) go on sale 10 a.m. Jan. 25, available via the VBC Box Office (700 Monroe St.), ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 800-745-3000.
Last summer, Jones announced he would retire from touring following his 2013 trek. The singer – known for hits including “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “White Lightning – began his 60-date “Grand Tour” in 2012. According to georgejones.com, Jones is planning to record a duets album with fellow country star Dolly Parton.
George Jones is bringing “The Grand Tour,” his farewell series of concerts, to Spartanburg.
The legendary country music singer will perform May 18 at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium as part of a tour that Jones has said will be his last. Contemporary country duo Wilson Fairchild will open the show.
Reserved tickets, priced at $42.75, are on sale now at the auditorium box office and at Ticketmaster outlets including Publix supermarkets. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
After more than five decades of touring, Jones, 81, has decided he is ready to slow down and spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren. “It is tough to stop doing what I love, but the time has come,” Jones said in a news release.
Considered by many as the greatest country singer of all-time, Jones is a 1992 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee with more than a dozen No. 1 hits to his credit.
Concerts on “The Grand Tour” will feature Jones performing such classics as “White Lightning,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” and “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair.”
For more information, visit the auditorium’s website at www.crowdpleaser.com.
Last summer, George Jones announced he would quit touring at the end of his 2013 road trip.
That victory lap, dubbed “The Grand Tour,” will stop at the Fox Theatre at 7:30 p.m. April 19. Tickets are $42.75 and on sale at 10 a.m. Jan. 25.
The country music icon, known for his hits “White Lightning,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” started the 60-date tour last year.
Jones remarked at the time he announced the farewell run that, “It is tough to stop doing what I love, but the time has come.”
Plans are also still in the works for a Jones/Dolly Parton album.
Tickets can be purchased at the Fox box office, www.foxatltix.com or by calling 1-855-ATL-TIXX.
“I just loved singing with Patti and she hit notes I never dreamed of!” Jones said in a Jan. 2 email shared with Examiner.com. “We cut some songs together and it was a great time. She’ll be missed by lots of folks and everybody needs to know how great she was. Patti was a wonderful singer with a real special voice.”