took me back, in my mind, many years and unearthed several memories that I had suppressed. As a kid, whether we were driving to church or going on vacation (for my Dad was in charge of choosing stations), there was one of two things on the radio; sports or George Jones.
At the time, I thought that surely, this was the worst thing that could happen to a person.
However, as I got older, and developed my own taste in music (and sports, though that is irrelevant in this post), I found that I listened to quite a bit of George.
Or “Possum”, as he was familiarly known. It wasn’t the most flattering nickname, but in reality, he really did, somewhat resemble, a possum.
Sorry George, but as my dad is fond of saying, “the truth will stand when the world’s on fire”.
When I look at my LP collection, I find that there are several of his albums there. When I still had eight-tracks (and for those of you too young to know what that is, look it up) there were many “George Jones” in that collection, too.
My dad was a fan. I was always trying to impress my dad and win his approval, so I suppose that some of my “George admiration” came from that. But at some point, I realized that I just plain liked his music.
I also liked Conway Twitty, John Conlee, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Elvis and Lefty Frizzelle (just to name the ones that come easily, without stressing my brain, to mind).
So sue me.
The music today that calls itself country has little to do with what I grew up with. As a matter of fact, it has little to do with music at all, but then, I may be biased.
OK, I am biased. But so what? Even though I have a hard time playing a note of music, I know what it should sound like. I understand it on a personal level and appreciate it in the very basic way that one understands and appreciates it.
It is a huge, very consuming part of my everyday life.
But I digress. I was talking about George and the impact his death had on me and I know, without asking, on my Dad.
I don’t consider myself immortal. I believe with my whole being that, if I died right now, I would go to Heaven and I have no illusions about living forever. But …
Seeing my idols and the people that I have “known” all my life die … well, that makes me think.
I don’t remember a time in my life that George wasn’t a part of it. He was popular when I was born (or so I am told, as I don’t remember those first few days) and became moreso in the years to come. And now he is dead. His music will live on for decades and generations, but the man himself is gone from this world. That is a sobering thought.
It hurts my heart nearly as much as when Andy Gibb died. That was a black day in my life. I loved him more than life, but he chose drugs over life. Choices. It all comes down, once again, to choices, BUT, I digress once again.
I cried like a child when, first Maurice Gibb and then again when Robin Gibb died. The Brothers Gibb (Bee-Gees) were my favorites and remain so, even though only Barry remains. Sometimes, when I think about them young and beautiful, singing their songs as only they could, I still cry. (If I keep this up, I will be crying before the night is out).
It was an end of an era for me, as it was when Conway died, as it was … then when Waylon died … then when Johnny died; well, this could go on for pages, but you get the idea.
The same can be said of George. I’ll miss you, Possum, and will, most likely, cry for you now and again as well because … well, because I loved you, too.
RIP, George … RIP.
Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes? Who, indeed? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi3GgoLtlWk