To honor George Jones, EW asked the Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall to recall his fondest memories of the country legend, who died today at the age of 81. They include the time Jones told Bonsall he should’ve just kicked his ass — and hearing “He Stopped Loving Her Today” before its release.
By: Joe Bonsall
As fate might have it, last night at a show in Missouri someone yelled from the audience, “How is George Jones doing?”
Well, we had no answer. We were well aware that George was in the hospital again and had been there since the middle of the month, but for some reason we thought he was doing all right but we did not know for sure. We all looked at each other on stage after the question in wonder… Each man’s face registered concern at NOT knowing the answer.
Then we arrived home this morning and heard the sad news that the Possum has gone home. How very sad. What an incredible and devastating loss for all who knew him, respected him, admired him, and loved him.
So many memories come to mind. A young Joey Bonsall once driving from Philadelphia to Youngstown, Ohio in a ’59 Ford all alone… to see George Jones and Tammy Wynette. He was a bit on the edge that night (being kind), and I remember being mad at him. As a young man who was in total love with Tammy, I perceived him to be a bit disrespectful of her onstage and I considered waiting for him at the stage door to tell him so… but I just drove all night back home.
I told him that story years later, and he told me I should have just kicked his ass and we both laughed. READ FULL STORY