Elko Concerts Presents
George Jones "The Grand Farewell Tour"
21 West Otterman Street
Greensburg, PA, 15601
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Whether the times have favored honky tonk songs or lushly produced “pop” offerings, George Jones has continued to make his brand of county music, which has produced hits in every decade of the second half of the 20th century. In fact, Jones has had more charted singles than any other artist in any format in the history of popular music.
George Jones first hit the charts in the 1950s. This year he celebrates his 50th Anniversary as a recording artist with the release of GEORGE JONES – 50 YEARS OF HITS, a 3-CD set on November 9th.
As hard as it might seem, 2003 marks a first in Jones’ musical history. In April of this year, Jones released his first fully conceived Gospel Collection. Produced by Jones’ legendary producer, Billy Sherrill, GEORGE JONES Sings The Greatest Stories Ever Told: THE GOSPEL COLLECTION features 24 Southern Gospel favorites.
Although there are other Gospel titles on the market, those songs were recorded separately over the years and eventually put together as albums. “I used to record a Gospel song or two every time I recorded an album in the old days. This is the first time that I ever sat down and decided on a group of songs to record and went into the studio specifically to make a Gospel collection,” said Jones.
“I’ve always loved to sing Gospel music. Of course, growing up we all sang in the Church and my mother really loved the old Gospel songs. With the way my career started in the honky tonks and my own history, I sometimes felt it was wrong for me to sing these songs. After my car accident and after I had changed the way of my life, I felt really good about recording these songs. I felt that I was sober and worthy and just wanted to put out a collection of songs that praised the Lord and spoke of how wonderful life can be.”
“I was thrilled to record this collection: Particularly because my wife, Nancy, talked my old friend and producer, Billy Sherrill, into coming out of retirement and producing the project.
We had a blast working together again and I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I hope it reminds everyone what a great talent Billy is and what a distinctive sound he has. I also had the joy of recording with my old friend Patti Page and one of my new closest friends, the great Vestal Goodman.”
Another first for Jones in 2003 is his entry into the food business. Jones has introduced a line of marinade sauces under the banner of “George Jones’ Ole Fashioned Steak Marinade” or Barbeque or Dipping Sauces. He has also introduced a line of sausage products called “George Jones’ Country Style Sausage” which features sausage patties, links, chubs and boxed sausage and biscuits. The sauces are produced by Pete’s Country Meat Market in Loretto, Tn. and the sausage is manufactured and distributed by Williams Sausage of Union City, Tn.
“I really enjoy breakfast. In fact, I pride myself on setting the table every morning and making sure that Nancy gets it on the table in a timely manner. Naturally, sausage is one of my favorite parts of the meal. I am particular about the sausage though. I like the hot type and I am very picky about the flavor and consistency. My new sausage was developed for my taste and I have to say that it is great. It doesn’t fall apart when you cook it and it has a really good spice mix for flavor.
In 2003 Jones also inked a tour sponsorship/retail relationship with Camping World, a nationwide chain of retail stores, which caters to the RV and outdoor enthusiast. Camping World will create and carry a selection of George Jones merchandise including a grill, a camping guitar, the marinades and sauces, CDs and various other products.
GEORGE JONES ‘ THE ROCK was the first release under the BNA/Bandit banner.
Jones is a partner in the Bandit label and, for the first time in his long career, he is able to retain part ownership of his own recordings. THE ROCK was recorded in two phases: the first group of songs were produced in 2000 by Emory Gordy, Jr. and the second stage was recorded in 2001 with Keith Stegall.
In 1998, while in the middle of recording his acclaimed “Cold Hard Truth” CD, Jones had a horrific car accident when he lost control of his SUV vehicle and hit a bridge just a mile from his home. It took two hours for emergency medical teams to free him from the car. Doctor feared the worse as Jones had a collapsed lung, torn liver and other internal injuries. Jones remained in critical care on a ventilator to help him breathe for eleven days. He then developed pneumonia, which further exasperated his recovery. The situation looked bleak. Performers from all eras---Little Jimmy Dickens, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, George Strait, Sammy Kershaw and Billy Ray Cyrus, as well as Jones’ famed producer and friend Billy Sherrill, came to lend their support to Jones’ family.
After recovering for several months, Jones resumed his career with the release of “Cold Hard Truth” and his never-ending touring schedule. But…this was a new George Jones who had finally turned his life around. Not only did he give up liquor, he stopped smoking and drinking coffee. “That accident put the fear of God into me.” Said Jones. “I realized I was getting to the age that I had to quit all that mess and smoking was hurting my lungs and affecting my voice. So, I just quit it all. Within months I was hitting higher notes than I hit before and wishing I had done it years ago.
George Glenn Jones was born in Saratoga, in East Texas. As a kid, he sang for tips on the streets of nearby Beaumont. By age 24, he had been married twice, served in the Marines and was veteran of the Texas honky circuit. On a recording session in 1955 for Starday Records, producer Pappy Dailey suggested he quit singing like his idols, Lefty Frizell, Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, and try singing like George Jones. The result was “Why Baby Why,” his first Top Five hit.
At Starday, Jones made rockabilly records as Thumper Jones and had his first country #1
At Mercury Records in 1959 with “White Lightning.” In 1961 he hit #1 again with “Tender Years” and “She Thinks I Still Care,” which held the #1 spot of six weeks and led to Male Vocalist of the Year awards from the Country Music Association in 1962 and again in 1963. Later in the ‘60s, on the Musicor label, his singles consistently hit the Top 10 and he hit #1 again
In 1967 with “Walk Through This World With Me.”
Jones, the top male singer in country music, married country music’s hottest new female
artist, Tammy Wynette in 1969. He soon joined Wynette’s label, Epic where he enjoyed a successful 20-year association with producer Billy Sherrill. He hit #1 in the ‘70s with “The
Grand Tour” and ‘The Door,” both in 1974. His marriage to Wynette was stormy but in the recording studio they were the perfect duet partners, hitting #1 with “We’re Gonna Hold On” in 1974 and, coinciding with their 1976 divorce, “Golden Ring” and “Near You.”
Jones kicked off the 1980s with one of the all-time great country records, “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” which won him single of the Year honors from the CMA in 1980 and again
In 1981. He won virtually every award available for that song including the Grammy and the
Song remained #1 for 18 weeks. His hits continued throughout the decade and his video for “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” won the CMA’s Video of the Year award in 1986.
In 1991, Jones signed with MCA Records, an event MCA Nashville President Tony Brown said was “like signing Elvis.” In 1992 the CMA recognized Jones’ monumental career
by inducting him into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1995, Jones and Tammy Wynette were reunited for a new CD entitled “One” and toured together for the first time in twenty years. Thankfully, George and Tammy had found friendship and peace in their relationship before the First Lady of Country Music unexpectedly passed away in 1998.
In 1996, Jones told his life story in the book I LIVED TO TELL IT ALL, which went to
#6 on The New York Times bestseller list.
It is amazing that Jones has lived to tell it all. Recently a disc jockey called his office after listening the THE GOSPEL COLLECTION and said: “After all the craziness of George’s life, you want to know why God put up with it all? Because, he was waiting for this CD.”