SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

April 27, 2013

Country superstar George Jones dead at 81

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — When it comes to country music, George Jones was The Voice.

Other great singers have come and gone, but this fact remained inviolate until Jones passed away yesterday at 81 in a Nashville hospital after a year of ill health.

“Today someone else has become the greatest living singer of traditional country music, but there will never be another George Jones,” said Bobby Braddock, the Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter who provided Jones with 29 songs over the decades. “No one in country music has influenced so many other artists.”

He did it with that voice. Rich and deep, strong enough to crack like a whip, but supple enough to bring tears. It was so powerful, it made Jones the first thoroughly modern country superstar, complete with the substance abuse problems and rich-and-famous celebrity lifestyle that included mansions, multiple divorces and — to hear one fellow performer tell it — fistfuls of cocaine.

He was a beloved and at times a notorious figure in Nashville and his problems were just as legendary as his songs. But when you dropped the needle on one of his records, all that stuff went away. And you were left with The Voice.

“He just knows how to pull every drop of emotion out of it of the songs if it’s an emotional song or if it’s a fun song he knows how to make that work,” Alan Jackson said in a 2011 interview. “It’s rare. He was a big fan of Hank Williams Sr. like me. He tried to sing like Hank in the early days. I’ve heard early cuts. And the difference is Hank was a singer and he was a great writer, but he didn’t have that natural voice like George. Not many people do. That just sets him apart from everybody.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Keenan to resign to take Salem State job

    SALEM — State Rep. John Keenan said Tuesday he will resign from office Aug. 24 to take a new job as vice president of administration at Salem State University.
    His announcement ended months of speculation about where the five-term Democrat would end up after leaving the Legislature. As it turns out, he is leaving four months before his term would have expired.

    July 29, 2014

  • Police Peabody Monday A resident of Loris Road called police at 2:45 p.m. to report that she sent money via Western Union for a dog, but the breeder hadn't shipped the dog yet. Michael Lepore, 24, 114 South St., Reading, was arrested from Washington Stree

    July 30, 2014

  • Correction A story in Monday's edition, "Man arrested after attempt on state trooper's home," had an incorrect address for Matthew Sobecky, 35, who was arrested. His address is 36 Donna St., Peabody. Correction

    July 30, 2014

  • Buczko Legislature approves naming Salem Probate Court after Judge Thaddeus Buczko

    BOSTON — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill to designate the Essex Probate and Family Court, located in Salem, in honor of Judge Thaddeus Buczko.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Chism attorney wants 'youthful offender' indictments dismissed

    Philip Chism's attorney will argue that the state's "youthful offender" law, which requires that the Danvers teen be tried as an adult in last fall's rape and murder of his teacher, is unconstitutional.
    In documents filed Monday, defense attorney Denise Regan contends that the statute, enacted in 1996, creates two classes of children within the court system, distinguishing them based solely on the charge.

    July 29, 2014