Even taken out of context, the lyrics to a half-dozen or so of George Jones's best-known and best-loved songs form a context all their own, and continue to eclipse latter-day sad bastards such as Morrissey and Belle & Sebastian for sheer pathos: "She came to see him one last time... Many blooms still linger there... I see lots of sad faces, and lots of bad cases... Here comes pride up the back stretch, heartache comin' on the inside... I thought we belonged together, and our hearts fit like a glove... Can you picture heaven with no angels singing?" Now 78, the Big Thicket native's shadow is still as long as the tall, tall trees he once sang about: In last Sunday's New York Times, soundtrack producer and music supervisor T-Bone Burnett cited Jones as one of the principal templates for Jeff Bridges's hard-luck honky-tonker in the upcoming film Crazy Heart, and the Drive-By Truckers piggy-backed his notorious exploits behind the wheel on their recent alt-country hit "Talkin' George Jones Cell Phone Blues." One of country music's last true living legends alongside Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, Jones has long since outraced his "No-Show" reputation, and any time he's in the area is a date with history. Why baby why? Because he's the Possum, and there will never be another.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.