The sweetest male voice in music went silent today. The way George Jones, aka the Possum, partied, I don’t think many people would have thought he would live to be 81. In his early years, I imagine the over and under on his age would have been about 40. I never got to work him. It seems like every time he was scheduled to play a venue where I could work, he cancelled due to sickness. Sickness being caused by Jack Daniels and snow. Even after he cleaned up his act, thanks to his long-suffering wife, Nancy, promoters thought twice about booking him.
I did work Tammy Wynette at the Guthrie, shortly after she finally threw in the towel and divorced George. Originally, it was booked as a show with both Tammy and George. I imagine their album, ‘We’re Going To Hold On’, would have been featured. Instead she sang songs like ‘Til I Can Make It On My Own’ and ‘D-I-V-O-R-C-E’, and did a lot of tearing up, especially when she sang, ‘Stand By Your Man’.
She said when they split their assets, she kept the band and the bus. George kept all the booze. ‘And,’ she remarked, ‘George thought he got the best of the deal.’
Such a voice! Such a waste of talent! But, then too, when he sang his songs, you knew, that he knew, what he was singing about.
Guess now I’ll go listen to ‘He Stopped Lovin Her Today’ for a few more times today. His live voice is gone: but thanks to Memorex and YouTube, we don’t have to stop lovin him today.
A while back, a very talented cartoonist, Joel Orff, had a weekly cartoon,Great Moments in Rock and Roll, in a local paper called The Pulse. A stagehand, Rich Labas, suggested to Joel that he get together with me and do some of my stories. I asked him to use the name Old Hand on our stories. That’s the Old Hand in the hat. He did several, Elton, Prince, James Brown. And then the paper folded. Joel does his magic for a paper out in California now. Here’s his cartoon of my Facebook on George Jones.
Joel’s work can be seen at much better at: