Just can't let it go without putting in my own goodbye for George Jones, one of the finest that country music has ever offered up...
If you are one of the majority who has been blessed by the unique and truly emotion-laden voice of George Jones, then you already know why I feel compelled to mark his passing. If you have never really explored his music, please do yourself the favor of finding out what everyone is making such a big deal about. George Jones is one of those voices that can mean something special to everyone. A person who can embody and develop those emotional moments that life hands us, that are just so hard to quantify, is such a gift.
George Jones is much more than just the sad songs he is very well known for. His stuff often contains a humorous twist that brings out another level of understanding and appreciation for what he has to offer as an interpreter of the human condition.
One of the positive things that I was given as I was growing up was an exposure to almost every kind of music that exits. Maybe because my family life was so chaotic, there was always room for anything that might come out of a radio speaker. The soundtrack that I grew up with contained everything from heavy metal to disco to classic rock to pop to country gold.
And when I think of country greatness, of course I think of George Jones.
I love the fact that George Jones was able to overcome his demons for the most part. His story of recovery from alcoholism, with much help from his 4th wife, speaks to the idea that there is always hope for any person who truly wants to improve themselves. George Jones managed to pull himself out of the depths of failure with a lot of hard work and a little luck. He once said that "a four-decade career had been salvaged by a three-minute song", referring to his Country Music Association Song of the Year for 1980 and 1981: He Stopped Loving Her Today.
Realizing that he was singing about a man who loved a woman so much that
he continued to love her through decades of her life- without him in
it, hoping against hope that she might someday return to him, only to
finally stop loving her because he had died... well, that was just such a
singular experience. I remember actually getting the full gist of the
lyrics as I was waiting in the car outside the grocery store,
drawing with my fingers on the fogged up windows. There are few songs
that embody so much in such a simple melody.
Thank You George Jones for everything you brought to the world of country music. And thank you for everything you brought to my own little piece of the world...