Friday, April 26, 2013

Godspeed, George Jones

We here at the Monkey want to take time out to say goodbye to our old friend and neighbor, George Jones. Not only was he one of the greatest singer-songwriters in country music history, he livened up the neighborhood when I was a kid—which is always a plus in my book. Rest in peace, Mr. Jones.


Unknown said...

One of the greatest country music singers of all time! He will be missed.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

I know you've explained or at least alluded to these here facts before, but I cannot remember them to save my life (have I mentioned that I am very, very old?) so if you ever have a chance could you remind me: how was it that musicians and artists of all cool kinds found themselves hanging out in the immediate environs of the young attorney/novelist/film historian/critic/Katie Bar the Door Soul Mate Mythical Monkey? I'm thinking your ma or pa was in the music biz?

Mythical Monkey said...

Who, it was mostly a matter of location, church and private schools -- we lived on a cul-de-sac on the lake out in Hendersonville, a suburb of Nashville. There were, if I remember correctly, eight houses on the street. Two doors down were George Jones and Tammy Wynnette, three doors down were Bobby Bare Sr and Jr (junior being a toddler who is still a pal), and next to the Bares was Bob Luman, who played country and rockabilly.

Later, Jerry Jarett, the promoter, bought the house Jones and Wynette had lived in. Unusual house -- not a 90 degree angle in the whole thing.

At school, we were pals with Roy Orbison's kids in kindergarten, then they transferred to a private school we wanted to get into, and when Tony and Roy Jr. blew themselves and Orbison's house up playing with a lighter and an aerosol can, my brother and I were invited to take their slots at school. Walked past a plaque with their pictures on it for years after, reminding my brother and I that the only reason we were in school there was because two of our friends had been killed in a fire.

At the school were the three sons of William Lee Golden, the guy with the long beard in The Oak Ridge Boys. In high school and early college, my brother, who became a drummer, played in a band with two of them. And also the grandson of Kitty Wells.

And let's see, I was in the class with Grandpa Jones's daughter.

And Johnny Cash often attended our church. Him we didn't know except to say hello to. His stepdaughter, Rosie Nix, went to school with us for a year, but she was older than we were and as I recall, hated the place, so I didn't know her.

Being a musician in his formative years, my brother wound up closer to all of these folks than me -- but let's face it, I am a movie-watching, book-reading, sit-in-my-office-and-write introvert, so I don't really hang out with anybody except at ballgames and such.

Mythical Monkey said...

Oh, and my dad was not in the music business, he was an international businessman, forever jetting off to Japan, Hong Kong and Europe.

He got sick when I was fourteen and died right after I graduated from high school. In between, while he was on disability, we went to a lot of movies -- classics like The Sting and Star Wars, and pure crap like Damnation Alley and Goldengirl.

I'd say that's when I developed the movie-going habit.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

A typically amazing story (i knew it would be) -- thanks Myth!