DEAD: ON THIS DATE
George Jones (aged 81)
George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. He achieved international fame for his long list of hit records, including his best known song “He Stopped Loving Her Today”, as well as his distinctive voice and phrasing. For the last twenty years of his life, Jones was frequently referred to as the greatest living country singer. Country musicscholar Bill Malone writes, “For the two or three minutes consumed by a song, Jones immerses himself so completely in its lyrics, and in the mood it conveys, that the listener can scarcely avoid becoming similarly involved.” Waylon Jennings expressed a similar opinion in his song “It’s Alright”: “If we all could sound like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones.” The shape of his nose and facial features earned Jones the nickname “The Possum.”
DEATH: Jones was scheduled to perform his final concert at the Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2013.However, on April 18, 2013, Jones was taken to VUMC for a slight fever and irregular blood pressure. His concerts in Alabama and Salem were postponed as a result. Following six days in intensive care at VUMC, Jones died on April 26, 2013; he was 81 years old. Former first lady Laura Bush was among those eulogizing Jones at his funeral on May 2, 2013. Other speakers were Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, news personality Bob Schieffer, and country singers Barbara Mandrell and Kenny Chesney. Alan Jackson, Kid Rock, Ronnie Milsap, Randy Travis, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Travis Tritt, the Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels, Wynonna and Brad Paisley provided musical tributes. The service was broadcast live on CMT, GAC, RFD-TV, The Nashville Network and FamilyNet as well as Nashville stations. SiriusXM and WSM 650AM, home of the Grand Ole Opry, broadcast the event on the radio. The family requested that contributions be made to the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund or to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.