Country Music Legend George Jones' Ties to Montgomery


By Ellis Eskew

Country music is mourning the loss of a legend. George Jones died Friday at the age of 81.
The country music pioneer had a strong connection here in Montgomery. And came here several times during his 50 year career.

His legendary voice and songs shaped the world of country music for generations.

Bama Country's "Dr. Sam" remembers the icon very well.

"I booked George Jones probably 5 different times and he was an absolute prince to work with. He was the most caring, compassionate, unarrogant entertainer that you've ever met," said Sam.

He says he remembers when Jones and other country music stars came to Garrett Coliseum to perform for a sold out crowd...
And he recalls what the country music legend said at the time.

"'I'm ready to get back to Nashville, I'll open up this baby.' said Sam imitating Jones. "So he did and the place went wild....It was beautiful. It was fabulous."

Many idolized the singer known as the "Possum."
But his hero was right here in Montgomery.

"When George Jones started in the business, they sound like somebody, and George was certainly influenced by Hank Williams as were many artists at the time," said Jeffy Petty, volunteer at the Hank Williams Museum.

They say Jones went on to develop his own sound, recording more than 150 albums.

 "His legacy will live on for years. 'He Stopped Loving Her Today'-- four years straight, number one song. If I'm not mistaken, won everything but female volcalist of the year with the CMA and the Academy of Country Music," said Sam.

Even though his legacy will live on, country music fans say they are sad to say goodbye to a true legend.

 "George Jones was one of the elder statesmen of country music, and we're losing them way too fast," said Petty.

Jones was in the midst of a farewell tour when he died. He was 81 years old.



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