George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) was an American musician, singer and songwriter who achieved international fame for his long list of hit records, including “White Lightning”, as well as his distinctive voice and phrasing. For the last 20 years of his life, Jones was frequently referred to as the greatest living country singer. Country music scholar Bill C. Malone writes, “For the two or three minutes consumed by a song, Jones immerses himself so completely in its lyrics, and in the mood it conveys, that the listener can scarcely avoid becoming similarly involved.” Waylon Jennings expressed a similar opinion in his song “It’s Alright”: “If we all could sound like we wanted to, we’d all sound like George Jones.” The shape of his nose and facial features earned Jones the nickname “The Possum.” Born in Texas, Jones first heard country music when he was seven and was given a guitar at the age of nine. He married his first wife, Dorothy Bonvillion, in 1950, and was divorced in 1951. He served in the United States Marine Corps until his discharge in 1953. He married Shirley Ann Corley in 1954. In 1959, Jones released a cover version of “White Lightning” by J. P. Richardson, which launched his career as a singer. His second marriage ended in divorce in 1968; he married fellow country music singer Tammy Wynette a year later. Many years of alcoholism caused his health to deteriorate severely and led to his missing many performances, earning him the nickname “No Show Jones.” After his divorce from Wynette in 1975, Jones married his fourth wife, Nancy Sepulvado, in 1983 and became mostly sober. Jones died in 2013, aged 81, from hypotoxic respiratory failure. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. During his career, Jones had more than 150 hits, both as a solo artist and in duets with other artists.
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