The Texas-born country singer-songwriter rose to international stardom during the 60s and never looked back, going down in history as one of the most influential country music singer-songwriters of all time. Often referred to as “The Possum,’ George Jones’ unorthodox road to fame started in Beaumont, Texas, where he played for tips on street corners. He later joined the U.S. Marine Corps, but ultimately decided to follow in the footsteps of his idol, Hank Williams.
In 1959, Jones’ career took off as “White Lightnin’” landed at the top of the charts, making it his first #1 hit. George’s “Golden Voice” captured audiences around the world, and he kept them entertained through his music, his love life, and his wild spirit. With the nickname, “No Show Jones,” George’s incredibly loyal fans showed up to his concerts even when he didn’t. Over the course of his career, Jones collected five GRAMMYs, as well as multiple ACMs, CMAs, and Billboard awards.
Following a brief hiatus, George Jones returned to the spotlight in 1980, releasing his most famous hit, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Going down in history as arguably the greatest country song of all time, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” elevated The Possum’s name to an immortal level.
After multiple marriages—including one to country singer Tammy Wynette—four children, late nights and no shows, and his infamous lawn mower ride to the liquor store, George turned his life around when he met his last wife, Nancy Sepulvado. Many credit The Possum’s extended last years to Nancy’s positive impact.
George Jones had more country songs on the Billboard chart and more Top 40 songs than any country artist in history.
Although his influence expands over multiple genres, it’s most especially heard through the work of some of today’s most notable country artists, such as Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Chris Stapleton, Kenny Chesney, and Dierks Bentley. Although George is no longer with us, his story is long from over (he has 1.7 million fans on Facebook!) as the country music industry continues to tell it through music.