George Jones was born on September 12, 1931, in Saratoga, Texas, into an extremely poor family. So poor, actually, that he sang to the roads as a youngster. Jones started recording country music in the 1950s. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1957, and continued to write hit songs in the 1980s. He expired on April 26, 2013, at age 81.
He was one of eight kids, though his older sister, Ethel, died before he was born. His dad was an alcoholic who’d occasionally get violent.
Jones and his family shared a love of music, frequently singing hymns together. In addition they loved listening to the radio, tuning into programs in the Grand Ole Opry. A music lover right away, Jones taught himself to play guitar. He started performing in the roads and dive bars of Beaumont, Texas, in his early adolescents.
George Jones started out singing on the radio having a buddy, working in a station in Jasper, Texas, and after that headed back to Beaumont. The couple had a daughter, Susan, before splitting up a year after. The breakup, according to some reports, was caused by Jones’s volatile temper and excessive drinking.
In 1953, Jones got a deal with Starday Records. The label’s co-owner, Pappy Daily, became his producer and his supervisor—a partnership that would continue for years. Jones also tried his hand at a different type of partnership around that time. In 1954, he married Shirley Ann Corley. More hits shortly followed with “What Am I Worth,” “You Gotta Be My Baby” and “Only One More.” In 1959, Jones had his first No. 1 hit with the comical tune “White Lightning.”
In the early 1960s, Jones established himself as among country music’s top crooners. The balladeer reached the very top of the charts in 1962 with “She Thinks I Still Care,” one of his hallmark melodies. A year after, he teamed up with Melba Montgomery for the first of several records. Their biggest hit together was “We Must Happen To Be Out of Thoughts.” Revealing his lighter side, Jones recorded “The Race Is On.”
Not long after, they started making music together. Breaking ties with Pappy Daily, Jones started working with Billy Sherrill, among Wynette’s producers. Sherrill added a particular shine to Jones’s sound.
Behind the scenes, Jones fought with substance and alcohol misuse. He and Wynette had a stressed, combative association, however they projected an image of being country music’s reigning king and queen. They scored several hits making use of their duets, notably “The Ceremony” and “We Can Make It,” the latter of which proved to be a little misnomer, as Wynette filed for divorce soon following the tune’s release. The couple attempted to accommodate, recording “We’re Gonna Hold On,” but while the tune made it to the very best of the country graphs, Jones and Wynette continued to fight. They had a daughter, Tamala Georgette, in 1970, but their relationship continued to spiral down then.
Jones’s heartache appeared to seep from his 1974 solo hit, “The Grand Tour,” a gut-wrenching ballad concerning the conclusion of a union. He and Wynette divorced the following year. Oddly enough, Jones and Wynette continued to work jointly, recording hits like 1976’s “Golden Ring.”
He became treacherous and unpredictable, vanishing with no notice and neglecting to appear for recording sessions and concerts. With all the cocaine use, Jones dropped a significant amount of weight, being a mere shadow of his former self.
Despite these dark times, Jones was able to make some fascinating music. He recorded a favorite duet with James Taylor, “Bartender’s Blues,” in 1978. Then he got back on the very best of the graphs with 1980’s “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” from the album I Am What I’m, Jones’s largest seller to date. In 1982, Jones teamed up with a different country star, Merle Haggard, for A Taste of Yesterday’s Wine.
In 1983, Jones started to abandon his self destructive manners. He married Nancy Sepulvada that year, and afterwards said that her love helped him need to straighten up his act. His last solo Top 10 country hit arrived in 1989 with “I’m a One Woman Man.”
While he stayed a dear of country music critics, George Jones appeared to be pushed off the radio in the 1990s by a new generation of stars. This new wave of country musicians, including Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and Shania Twain, made a slicker, pop-influenced sound. Jones may not have been creating hit singles, however he continued to make some powerful-selling records in the ’90s. In 1995, he reunited with Wynette for One. Around now, Jones gave readers an inside peek into all his troubles and successes with his autobiography, I Lived to Tell It All, released in 1996.
In 1999, Jones broke to the country album chart’s Top 10 list with The Cold Hard Truth. The exact same year, it seemed he had relapsed after getting into a serious car crash while intoxicated. He later asserted the event straightened him out for good.
He became the subject of a tribute album, God’s Country: George Jones and Friends, the exact same year.
In his later years, Jones continued to keep a demanding tour schedule, playing numerous dates all over the united states. A decade after, in 2012, he garnered among the best honours of his career: a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
George Jones expired on April 26, 2013, in the age of 81, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, after allegedly being hospitalized with atypical blood pressure as well as a temperature.
Having a career spanning over 50 years, Jones is regarded as a country music star, among the genre’s all time biggest stars. His clear, powerful voice and his power to express a lot of emotions won over thousands of supporters, along with the envy of his peers. As fellow country star Waylon Jennings once said, “If we’re able to sound the way we needed, we had all seem like George Jones.”