Hey, George “No Show” Jones: take a closer walk with Thee. You’ve earned it.
Yes: The Ol’ Possum – the greatest honky tonk singer of them all – passed away today at 81 – years and even decades after fans, friends, family and industry insiders would have believed possible. Indeed, way back when, before Jones mercifully achieved sobriety, his appetites for alcohol and sundry drugs were astounding. If there had been a textbook on how to get loaded, the Jones chapter would have caused folks like Hunter Thompson and Malcolm Lowry to shudder and slink away like sick rats from a bright light.
Regardless of whether Jones’ addictions fueled his innate sorrow or the other way around, there’s no question some kernel of melancholy was part of the singer’s DNA – and enabled him to infuse his gifted and distinctive voice with a weighty ache that turned two-minute drinking and cheating songs into Life Anthems.
If there was any justice, millions of us today would hop on riding lawn mowers, ramble down to our neighborhood liquor stores, and get a six-pack to drink in remembrance of you. George: we do NOT stop loving you today.