Off the Air With Jeremy: George Jones R.I.P.
Like a lot of you, I sat home today crying at the TV as we said goodbye to George Jones. What a beautiful tribute it was seeing Alan Jackson's tearful version of 'He Stopped Loving Her Today.' I wish country music was still in those good old days.
I want to introduce you to a friend and a part of our website team here at Taste of Country, Sterling Whitaker. He attended the funeral in Nashville today, and he was gracious enough to write this about his experience for us.
If it's true that you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps, well . . . all I can say is, that speaks very well of George Jones by the friends, family and peers who assembled today in Nashville to pay tribute to not only his musical legacy, but the man himself.
What was perhaps most interesting about the service today was the diversity of the crowd. Political figures like Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Laura Bush all spoke warmly of George and the times they spent with him, and stars like Barbara Mandrell and Vince Gill shared personal glimpses of the man they knew and loved.
Kenny Chesney can hold a stadium crowd in the palm of his hand, but he was almost visibly at a loss for words to try to describe how much the man he called "a father figure" meant to him.
Laying aside George Jones' musical legacy, his fame and fortune, and all of the awards and accolades he received in a career of more than half a century, in the end, what matters most to those who knew him best are the memories they shared with him. And if the real George Jones was half as good a man as the people at his service remembered today, then he can -- in the immortal words of Vince Gill -- go rest high on that mountain with the satisfaction of a life well-lived.
Wow. . . thanks Sterling, and goodbye Mr. Jones. We'll miss you.
A fan forever,
Jeremy Robinson is the host of Taste of Country Nights, a syndicated radio show that airs on 41 stations across the United States on weeknights. Radio has been his life since the age of nine, when he “hosted” a show out of his bedroom. After almost 16 years on the air, country music isn’t just his job — it’s also his passion.