(WASHINGTON TIMES) April 26, 2013 – A wreath has been laid at the door of George Jones, the hard-times, hard-living Country Western Hall of Fame singer died this morning. Growing up in what is called “The Big Thicket”, an area of East Texas where cotton was grown and whiskey was drunk, Jones grew up in a hardscrabble Depression era life before moving to Beaumont, Texas.
In Beaumont the young Jones learned to play guitar venturing into the East Texas honky-tonks. Those early days led to a career of country-ballad songs beginning with his first albums releasing in 1957, “Grand Old Opry’s New Star.”
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The 81-year-old artist’s baritone added a rich velvet layer to songs like the classic for the brokenhearted “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” That song, released in April of 1980, crossed over musical genres due to its universal subject loss and longing. It was Jone’s voice, with its ache and sorrow, however, that spoke to the recently dumped in honkey-tonks and Manhattan bars.