With the recent passing of George Jones, musicians and music fans from all walks of life have expressed the importance of his music to everyone.
As the singer of some of country music’s most enduring classics and the one who made “He Stopped Loving Her Today” the greatest country song ever recorded, Jones blurred boundaries by being accepted by all kinds of music fans. His contributions to country music are undeniable, but his contributions to all of music have come to light after his death.
I am one of those people who likes what I like and don’t pay attention to genre. It’s not about looks or how big your show is, it’s about the music. Above all else, the music has to speak to me, no matter if it is serious, happy, silly or sad. George Jones has done that for me. Fun songs, happy songs or sad songs, his music spoke to me.
When he released “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?”, he wondered what country music would be like after the legends have passed. He lived long enough to see country music change dramatically from even when that song was released in the mid-80’s. As time progressed, more than just Jones wondered who the next legend would be and if they would carry on the traditions of the past.
As the legends we’re pushed off country radio by the new class of artists coming in, Jones reminded everyone that he “Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair” – a feisty tune reminding the younger generations that there is still a lot of life left in him and his contemporaries. Those new kids from the late 80s and 90s now find themselves in that very position of being pushed out of radio playlists for the simple fact of being too old.
Music is cyclic and everything old becomes new again. Some artists are timeless and carry on forever even after their passing. Traditional country may in fact make a comeback some day, but timeless legends like George Jones don’t come around very often. His legacy, his music, his style will all live on forever.
It should be the goal of every country fan, every music fan, out there to remind younger generations to appreciate what came before them, learn from them and carry on their life’s work knowing that tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. A George Jones only comes along once in a lifetime. His legend will live forever, and no, no one can fill his shoes.
Here’s a link to a Rhapsody playlist of George Jones songs: http://www.rhapsody.com/playlist/pp.107478487
Here are some YouTube links as well: