Friday, 3 May 2013

George Jones Memorial Service May 2, 2013

George Jones Memorial Service May 2, 2013

The Celebration of the Life of Mr. George Jones, links to the service Audio and photos, more tributes and now fans reacted this last week buying “The Possums” catalog of songs.

Getty Images/ photo: Larry McCormack/The Tennessean
A portrait of George Jones sits on the stage during the funeral service.
The Butterfly arrangement to the right was sent by Dolly Parton.
CLICK to ENLARGE

Country music does it right, as always, paying its respects to a country great. 

George Jones’ Funeral took place on Thursday, May 2nd at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, starting at 10 am (Central) and was open to the public.
National television networks CMT, GAC, RFD, and FamilyNet, as well as local Nashville stations WKRN 2, WSMV 4, WTVF 5, WZTV 17 broadcast the funeral service “LIVE”, with radio partners WSM 650AM and SiriusXM Willie's Roadhouse (Ch. 56) broadcasting the service. Fans around the world could listen online at wsmonline.com and watch online at opry.com.

"The calibre of speakers and performers was a testament to what George Jones meant to everyone in the world," said publicist Kirt Webster. "Nancy is overwhelmed by the love and support of not only George's fans, but also the music community, public figures and friends." Press Release

The complete Audio of the service is available online at WSM
George Jones Celebration of Life - May 2, 2013 Audio (2 hour 37min) - www.wsmonline.com/tributes

Watch this Video - A segment from Nashville's Fox Television channel recapping the event in video >> YouTube

George Jones performed hundreds of times at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House – whether on the WSM Radio show, or appearing on such shows from the auditorium like the CMA Awards, so it's only appropriate that the morning funeral has turned out to be a farewell fit for a “country king”.
Open to the public, fans started lining up yesterday for a chance to say farewell to the artist known as "The Possum."
Famous friends who either spoke or performed during the 2 hour, 40 minutes-long service included Kid Rock, Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson, Patty Loveless, former First Lady Laura Bush and others WSM announcer Eddie Stubbs welcomed the crowd to the Opry House, and proceeded to introduce long-time family friend Tanya Tucker and the Imperials, who performed a beautiful version of the Gospel classic "The Old Rugged Cross," ending the performance by saying "I'm gonna miss you, Possum”

Service Program [PDF File] - www.opry.com/pdf

George Jones Memorial:
The country music family stopped to remember George Jones Thursday (May 2nd) with an emotional, music-filled funeral service at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House. Tanya Tucker and The Imperials opened with "The Old Rugged Cross" as Christian hymns dominated the song choices.
"He joins the ranks of the greatest of the greats," Charlie Daniels said. "As long as there is country music, he will be remembered."
Performers, speakers and attendees included Randy Travis, Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Laura Bush, the Oak Ridge Boys, Bob Schieffer, former First Lady Laura Bush, Jamey Johnson, Wynonna and Travis Tritt.

"George was and always will be the greatest singer of all time in country music," Barbara Mandrell said at one point. "There won't be anyone, ever, [to] fill his shoes."
Vince Gill added later, "It's my belief they don't make those shoes anymore." He and Patty Loveless delivered a tearful performance of "Go Rest High On That Mountain."
Emotional high points included performances by Travis Tritt, who soulfully belted "Why My Lord," and Wynnona Judd, who also held back tears. "I never thought I'd be here doing this . . . We have lost a stylist," she said, before entrancing the crowd with the gospel number "How Great Thou Art," her voice quivering as she swelled into the opening note.

Perhaps the most poignant moment came when Ronnie Milsap sang an ethereal take on the woozy barroom requiem "When the Grass Grows Over Me." "This is the saddest song I've ever sung," he said from behind the piano.
Brad Paisley encouraged younger generations who may have been tuning in to the service on the radio to seek out Jones' records and "see what all this ruckus was about," before solemnly performing the Tom T. Hall-penned chestnut "Me & Jesus"

The service closed with Alan Jackson's shattering performance of Jones' 1980 hit "He Stopped Loving Her Today", taking off his trademark white cowboy hat and held it over his heart. “We love you George,” he said at song's end in salute of his legendary country predecessor.

A recording of Jones' "When the Curtain Falls" played over the loudspeaker, as pallbearers moved his casket from its perch in front of the Opry stage.
Then, George Jones exited the Opry for the final time.


Related Posts:
12.45: It took just a few words of “He Stopped Loving Her Today” before all those gathered at the Grand Ole Opry House rose from their seats.
For a minute by minute report of the proceedings check out:

George Jones Funeral Service - 61 Photo Gallery - The Tennessean.com/gallery

Pictures Of George Jones’ Funeral – Loretta Lynn, Alan Jackson, Barbara Mandrell, Kix Brooks, Dierks Bentley, Little Jimmy Dickens, Brad Paisley comfort Nancy Jones - http://wgna.com/

Country Weekly Article - George Jones Remembered at Funeral Service

George Jones Final Hours - The wife of the late George Jones has opened up for the first time about how the legendary singer spent his last days and hours before his death on April 26. Nancy Jones says the family knew his health was fading fast, but they chose to keep it quiet as not to worry friends, fans and family.
He was so proud that he kind of kept it away from everyone and just would try to do the best he could with what was going on,” Jones told WSMV-TV in Nashville. “He was a very, very brave man.” Read more at Taste Of Country 

Nancy & George

Country Weekly was fortunate enough to speak with Nancy Jones, George Jones’ wife, about the love she and her husband shared. (The May 20 issue, will hit stands May 13.) During that conversation, Nancy shared her thoughts on what turned George’s life around. In part, it was certainly his wife’s influence, but Nancy said religion also played a role. The hard-living country legend turned to God shortly after the 1999 SUV accident that almost killed him.
  
Reactions to George Jones’ Passing From The Country Music Community and Beyond – Press Release

George Jones daughter and singer posts May 2, 2013
Georgette Jones (Facebook): So many sweet messages, cards, letters and flowers from many of you. ...please know how much my family and I appreciate your kindness and especial prayers. I loved my Dad very much and it makes me smile to read how so many of you have been touched by him personally and or by his music. No words to express our pain, but thankful Dad isn't sick or in pain anymore and so grateful for all of you who have shared your thoughts and love for him and our family. God bless you all!

The Gift of Music
Fans React: ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’

Country Radio stations played the legend's top songs on both sides of the pond and around the world in tribute.
650 AM WSM went “Wall to Wall Possum” on the day of his death April 26, 2013
Fans in America wanting a little something to hold onto and to remember Mr. George Jones by have bought his records thus returning them to the charts.

Billboard 
Four George Jones compilations enter or re-enter the chart in the wake of his death last week at age 81.

The 1998 compilation 16 Biggest Hits finally enters the chart at #42. Even without cracking The Billboard 200 (until this week) the album has sold a healthy 1,181,000 copies.
The album has gone to #1 on this week’s Top Billboard Catalog Albums chart.

George Jones sold 40,000 albums in the past week, bringing his SoundScan era total to 11,434,000.
Jones had two albums on the very first Hot Country Albums chart when it was introduced on Jan. 11, 1964.

Billboard Top 200 albums - On the chart, Jones logs his highest-charting set ever on the tally, as the 1998 release 16 BIGGEST HITS debuts at No. 42
Jones never previously went higher than No. 53 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, with his 1999 album COLD HARD TRUTH.
On the Billboard 200 this chart week:
No.42 - 16 BIGGEST HITS (8,903 sales compared to last weeks 441; up 1,918%; Total sales 1,181,174)
No.56 - Super Hits (1987) (6,989 sales compared to last weeks 726; up 862%, Total to date 2,265,940).
No.92 - The Essential George Jones (5,014 sales compared to last weeks 51; up 9,731%, Total to date 36,801)
No.183 - Hits I Missed . . . And One I Didn't (2,614 compared to last weeks 392; up 567%, Total to date 171,696).

Billboard Hot Country Songs - Jones’ signature song “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (Epic), written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman and produced by Billy Sherrill entered the chart for a second time at No.21. Jones writes a new chapter in the song’s legacy with his best rank on in 23 years.

Billboard Country Digital Chart – New on the chart at No.15 is “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. Fans bought 34,288 downloads, up 2,926% to a new Digital total of 450,112
Jones’ second-biggest tune was "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes," landed at No.39 selling 11,316 copies; up 3,550% from the previous week tally of a mere 310 units to take it to a new Digital total of 102,259. Jones sold 149,000 downloads , up a massive 2,739%. Jones sold more songs this past week than he did in all of 2013 up until his death (91,000).

Catalog Albums - Jones' sold 35,000 last week; up 1,002% from 3,000 the week previous. George Jones 16 BIGGEST HITS with its 8,903 sales made it the No.1 album. One of 3 albums in the Top 11 listing

In the latter days of his life, George Jones became such an icon himself that he was name-checked—“Laid-back swervin’ like I’m George Jones”—in the chorus of Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem,” a 2012 single of the year finalist in the Country Music Assn. (CMA) Awards.

Further Quotes:
Jones’ voice was silenced with his April 26 passing, a death that was a figurative punch to the gut for many in Nashville’s music community. His reedy, expressive sound; his affinity for sad songs; and his redemptive life story were the stuff upon which country was founded.

Mary Ann McCready (McCready & McCarthy president) who worked with Jones in the 1980s as CBS Nashville VP of marketing said:  He stood right there all by himself in a class of singers that could convey pain and emotion. And I’m sure it’s because he knew it. He was so familiar with the pain and emotion.”

Michael McCall (Country Music Hall of Famer writer/editor) "George changed everything,” ..“I don’t think there’s any singer afterward that didn’t have to react to him in some way. It’s like a meteor hitting something. It shook up everything up. He influenced so many people. The way country music is sung is because of George Jones.”

Billy Yates "Only One George Jones" No.1 for 4 weeks on the Hotdisc Top 40
since April 7, 2013

“George was always somebody, and he still is, and he will always be”
“He was just the voice and he was the voice of the common man”
“He sang for us all, he sang the songs that cried for us”
“He, George Jones, is Country Music”

George Jones 12 September 1931 - 26 April  2013 R.I.P

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