George Jones is one of the most respected legends in country music — so much so that he is often name-checked in songs by other artists, ‘Don’t Rock the Jukebox’ by Alan Jackson and ’Dirt Road Anthem’ by Jason Aldean being good examples. Many of these stars also think of him as the greatest living country singer of all time. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the unmistakable voice behind classics like ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today,’ ‘The Race Is On’ and ‘Choices,’ Jones answers eight questions in honor of his 80th birthday, exclusively for Taste of Country.
One of the most moving parts of one of your recent concerts was when you sang ‘Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.’ As we watched you sing about your friends, many of them no longer with us, a giant screen showed their pictures and brought back so many memories. Who do you miss the most in country music and why?
Here’s your Music City Miracle: George Jones turns 80 today.
Let’s all jump up and down, like when Titan Kevin Dyson raced down the sideline at Whatever-It-Was-Called-Then Stadium and beat the Buffalo Bills in the playoffs.
Let’s all jump up and down, out of happiness that the man many folks call the greatest country vocalist of all time is still around to sing for us.
Let’s all jump up and down, out of love and respect for a guy who turned his life around and stiff-armed Father Time.
Because the odds of the great George Jones living to be an octogenarian were considerably longer than the odds of that long-ago (so long that the Bills were actually in the playoffs) Titans’ win in the final seconds of that crazy game.
As George Jones celebrates his 80th birthday Mon., Sept. 12, country music’s most widely recognized and awarded radio station, Nashville’s 650 AM WSM, is inviting fans from around the world to join in an all-day on-air and online birthday party in honor of the country legend.
The party is set to include Jones classics every hour 12 midnight – 7 p.m., listener birthday greetings and requests throughout the day, and a special edition of “The Eddie Stubbs Show” 7 p.m. – midnight featuring nothing but George Jones recordings.
Country music legend George Jones is known as much for his iconic songs “White Lightnin’” and “The Grand Tour” almost as much has his infamous antics off the stage (including one night when he was arrested for driving a riding lawnmower to a bar while under the influence). But cleaning up his act and the love of a good woman have allowed the performer once infamously called “No Show Jones” to delight crowds with at least 70 shows a year, including a concert at Harrah’s Cherokee Resort Event Center this Saturday.
“There are so many ‘stories’ about me I could never tell half of them or refute them for that matter,” Jones joked in a recent email exchange. “I have become wiser over the years.
The Grand Ole Opry will throw an 80th birthday party for one of country music’s all-time most renowned voices, Grand Ole Opry star and Country Music Hall of Famer George Jones, during the Tuesday Night Opry Sept. 13. Among those scheduled to participate in the birthday festivities are Opry members Alan Jackson, Montgomery Gentry, Joe Diffie, Pam Tillis, and Oak Ridge Boys plus special guests Jamey Johnson, Blackberry Smoke, and Eric Lee Beddingfield.
Jones, who will turn 80 on Sept. 12, became a Grand Ole Opry member 55 years ago. His classics have stood the test of time, to say the least, including his first hit in 1955, “Why, Baby, Why,” “White Lightnin’,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Grand Tour,” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” just to name a few.