The Possum Sleeps – George Jones – RIP

by Tony Shea on April 26, 2013


george-jones1The legendary George Jones died today at the age of 81. Sometimes known as the Possum to his fans, Jones was a true American original. A former Marine, he was an alcoholic cocaine addict who once, after his wife hid his car keys, rode a riding lawn mower eight miles to the liquor store. Jones was married four times and was confined for a period as a patient in a psychiatric hospital. Through it all, he remained an archetypal voice of country music.

With his strange shellacked haircut that looked like the plastic cap of a Lego figurine, and mammoth mutton chops that he wore like two knives on his creased and acne scared face, with his love of gold chains, watches and rings, Jones was as cool old as he was young, maybe cooler even like other aging rockers Bob Dylan and Keith Richards, who seem to get better with age. He lived hard and yet he lived long, unlike so many others sent to early graves by whiskey, women and song – Hank Williams Sr. was only 29 when he died – and this staying power lent him a credibility. George Jones was pure country, and his distinct croon inspired a legion of imitators over the last fifty years. George Jones – RIP.

White Lightning

His first number one country hit was this revved up 50’s rocker that celebrated Jones’  love of moonshine liquor.

She Thinks I Still Care

This simultaneously funny and sad song is one of the all time great ballads of woe.

Honky Tonk Song

The song inspired by a drunken drive on a riding lawn mower.

Tony Shea ( Editor-in-Chief, New York)

Tony Shea is based in New York, having recently moved from Los Angeles after more than a decade on the sunny coast. His short films have won numerous awards and screened at major festivals around the world including Comic-Con. As a musician, he is the lead singer for Los Angeles rock n’ roll band Candygram For Mongo (C4M) who has been a featured artist on Clear Channel Radio’s Discover New Music Program and whose songs have been heard on Battlestar Gallactica (Syfy Channel) and Unhitched (Fox) among other shows and films.

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