(Initially, I had another post planned for today’s “Weekend Reading,” but in light of today’s passing of country legend George Jones, I thought it appropriate to switch gears. )
It’s a sad day for country music fans, dear readers.
George Jones died earlier today (Friday, April 26, 2013), after checking into Vanderbilt University Hospital April 18, 2013 for a fever and blood pressure issues.
For fans, the award-winning country star was as well known for his emotional, chart-topping hits like “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “A Picture Of Me (Without You)” as he was for his often tumultuous personal life. During his 81 years, Jones was married four times and battled what has been described as “legendary” alcoholism and drug abuse.
(In her 1979 autobiography, Wife Number Three, fellow country star Tammy Wynette, recounts a time when Jones drove his riding lawnmower to the liquor store after she hid the car keys — an act that Jones later poked fun of during 90’s music videos for Hank Williams, Jr’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” and Vince Gill’s “One More Last Chance.”)
In fact, the more trouble he got into, the more popular he became and, consequently, the more albums he sold:
“I was country music’s national drunk and drug addict.” George Jones, “I Lived To Tell It All”
Through it all, though, Jones had plenty of happy times, too.
He enjoyed massive professional success: he had 14 songs make it to Number One; was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; and earned the respect and admiration of artists like Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton, and James Taylor.
Personally, his fourth wife Nancy Sepulvado is credited as having helped him beat his alcoholism and cocaine addiction (though reports show he struggled with alcohol abuse at least into the 90s) and enjoyed supportive friendships with some of the greatest names in music history.
Sympathies go out to his surviving family members including his wife Nancy, his sister Helen Scroggins, and his children and grandchildren.
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Last reviewed: 26 Apr 2013