Saturday, 27 April 2013

George Jones Country before Country was Cool

George Jones the Country singer is dead aged 81. The shock is that he lived that long. Why is it that Country stars, raised in God-fearing homes, trash their lives fuelled by alcohol?  George Jones's voice was bizarre. His legendary "twang" was the apotheosis of wild vibrato, drenching every syllable with contorted sentiment. It matched the whining wail of the slide guitar : a caricature of distortion. And yet it worked. The songs he sang weren't great classics yet the way he sang was soaked with feeling. Pickled in alcohol, perhaps. Today, everyone's singing his greatest hit with the line "He stopped loving her today/ They placed a wreath upon his door/ And soon they'll carry him away/He stopped loving her today". 

Below I've put the song that comes closest to poetry  and demonstrates "the voice" and its charms. Maybe George Jones appeals because he's so painfully sincere. Indeed, it's all the more chilling because he uses a nonchalant neutrality to sing about horrible images like police brutality. Please also read my post on Kitty Wells, The Fricka of Country, on Cajun music, the Louvin Brothers and much else


No comments: