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Friday, April 26, 2013

George Jones: Tribute from Coondog Productions of Beaumont, TX and Nashville TN.

George Jones was an American Legend.  The King of Country, he played arenas and clubs all over the country for over 50 years, almost always to sold out shows.

I had the pleasure of knowing George going all the way back to childhood growing up in the same town and having a friend and classmate in one of his sons, Bryan.  In later years I had the pleasure of working with George professionally a number of times in the entertainment world arranging concerts with our production company.  

George was loved not only by his several generations of loyal fans, but by the entire country music industry. In spite of some of the stories about his difficulties with management in years past, he was always a pleasure to work with and a gentleman in every respect.

We had the additional pleasure of inducting him into Music Hall of Fame at Ford Park a few years ago and Merle Haggard, an American country music icon himself, was honored to handle the inductions.  Loretta Lynn made his next appearance with him a couple of years later for a reunion event and entertained the crowd with a statement that she had been ill but was not about to miss the show and not open for George because she didn’t want to be known as “no show Loretta”, a poke at George’s personal history of missing a number of his engagements over the years.

From working in Nashville for many years with our production company, I can say that no one was more liked and more respected than George Jones.  No other singer ever missed an opportunity to be the opening act for one of his shows. No one else ever produced the longevity in the business like George Jones. At 81, he was still touring and still selling out everywhere he went.  And, most importantly, no one had more loyal fans.  George had a long and checked history in his personal life of indulging in the hard living he so well covered in the lyrics to his many hit songs.  In spite of it and the implications it had on his professional career, his fans were all true blue and always forgave every lapse.   It was a forgiveness brought about for many reasons. First, George was a likeable person.  He cared about his fans and always wanted to put on a good show. He was able to acknowledge his failings…even joke about them,  instead of defending them. He knew he was very mortal, in spite of his celebrity, and he didn’t mind being transparent about it.    He was so good at what he did because he sang from the soul. 

He experienced the hardships and heartbreaks he sang about.  He captured the essence of life in the country better than anyone before or sense.

He had a voice that penetrated you when you listened to him.  He was real. 

Mr. Jones,  from Coondog Productions, our management, all the people we have worked with around the country over all these years, from your fans, your supporters, your sponsors and everyone else you touched…you will be missed.   

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