As a child, George Jones would climb into bed with his parents every Saturday night to listen to his favorite show on the radio, The Grand Ole Opry. He made sure his mother knew to wake him up if he fell asleep, because he didn't want to miss hearing his heroes Roy Acuff and Bill Monroe.
It would have been hard for young Jones to imagine at that time in his life that one day there would be dozens of artists who would cite him as their own idol and reason for loving the Opry. After years of listening to the Opry over the radio, Jones became a member himself on August 25, 1956.
Jones performed many of his greatest hits on that famous stage over the course of his career. He also celebrated his 71st birthday at the Opry with his adoring fans. But only ten years later, artists honored Jones' life and legacy during his memorial service in the one place that meant so much to him...the Opry.
When he passed away, Jones' Opry induction had taken place over a half a century prior. But back in 1962 he had only been a member of the Opry for a few years when he entertained the crowd with his hit song "White Lightning."
Written by J.P. Richardson, known by his stage name The Big Bopper, "White Lightning" is a fun, bubbly tune that Jones turned into a number one country hit. The crowd always loved it when he hiccuped and gurgled through the words, and he didn't disappoint during his 1962 performance.
It was through performances like this one of "White Lightning" below that Jones was able to secure his place in Opry history. Performances like these went on to inspire a whole new generation of artists, who later honored Jones at his beloved Opry after he passed away.
There will never be another like Jones. He's so dearly missed.
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