George Jones
George Jones

George Jones

About George Jones

It’s difficult to understate the profound influence George Jones and the clear, classic twang of his unmistakable voice had on country music. Born in Texas in 1931, Jones got a hold of his first guitar at nine years old, was busking on street corners in Beaumont shortly after, and he didn’t stop singing until less than a month before he died at 81. In between, “The Possum”—an early nickname that stuck forever—was a mainstay on country music charts, starting with the blistering rockabilly of “White Lightning” in 1959, and helped define the sound of the genre. His name is synonymous with heartbreak, and songs like the lonesome “She Thinks I Still Care” have spurred many a tear to drop into many a beer. But his most famous song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today”—about a man who spends his life carrying a torch for the lover who left him long ago—has a capacity to devastate that is unrivaled in a genre that often trades in pain. Relationships were rich fodder for Jones, and his marriage to fellow country star Tammy Wynette led to a decades-long, often tempestuous, collaborative relationship that produced classic duets like the realist love story “Golden Ring.” Jones’ 1985 song “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” pays tribute to his musical heroes—Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard—but rest assured, if there’s ever a country music Mount Rushmore, The Possum’s mug will be on it.

  • HOMETOWN
    Saratoga, TX
  • BORN
    September 12, 1931

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