It Was A George Jones Song
It was a George Jones song that first got me interested in Country Music.
Tender Years – summer of 1961. I was still in high school. I listened to it over and over and was so taken by the way it was written and performed that I insisted the Statlers record it on an album ten years later. It was written by Darrell Edwards, a childhood friend of George’s but it was all Jones all the way.
George and the Statlers worked stage shows together; did tv together – many awards shows and he guested on the Statler tv show in the 90s. He gave us one of the most classic performances of Rockin’ Chair you’ll ever hear or see. But here is my favorite George Jones story:
Our comedy album of Lester ‘Roadhog’ Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys had just come out in the early 70s. He and Tammy Wynette, who were married at the time, were riding down the road one day and a cut from our album came on the radio. It happened to be us as the Cadillac Cowboys butchering a song called Why Baby, Why. It made George very mad and he turned the radio off and said, “that kind of stuff shouldn’t be allowed on the air”. (And this is even funnier when you know that George wrote Why Baby, Why.) Tammy immediately says, “Wait, George, turn that back on. I think there’s more to this than we first thought.”
He turned it back on and got the full story that it was the Statlers doing a comedy album and they both laughed and were big fans of the album from then on. George and Tammy both have told us this story and loved telling it.
Wilson/Fairchild, who are my son, Langdon and my nephew Wil, have been working with George for the last couple of years. They were his opening act. They can tell you also how loved he was by a wide range of fans. The last show, the one they had to cancel in Huntsville, AL this Saturday night, was a sellout. And that’s pretty good for a man who had been doing it for sixty years.
Go in peace, George. You’ve earned the rest.
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