The great George Jones was honoured by some of the biggest names in country and western music this week, as the stars came out in force to the George Jones Tribute Concert at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Friday, 22 November. The widely acclaimed country star country, who sadly passed away earlier this year on 23 April, was honoured for four hours straight by some huge names performing Jones' greatest hits.
George Jones passed away earlier this year
The evening began (via Billboard) with the sole piece of stock footage featuring Jones, the video for his sigle 'No Show Jones,' yet despite his absence from the jumbo screens on stage, his memory never left the arena during the event billed as 'The Final No Show.'
Big & Rich took to the stage following the opening presentation, giving their version of Jones' 1965 hit 'Lovebug,' their powerful performance paving the way for Kid Rock to give a stripped down version of Jones' first US number one, 'White Lightning.' Of the 100+ artists to honour Jones over the night, none were met quite so warmly as Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks however, with their duet of 'Take Me' blowing the audience away. The cover of Jones' first hit with regular collaborator Tammy Wynette had the audience screaming for more, and they were not let down as one big name after the other took to the stage to honour the great country pioneer.
Kid Rock (L) and Garth Brooks (R) were among the performers on the night
There were also a number of medleys performed in the evening, as Jones' expansive back catalogue was given an encompassing memorial. Emmylou Harris, Jeannie Seely, Jeanne Pruett, Jan Howard, Janie Fricke and Leona Williams were the first to sing a medley of his hits, singing parts of 'If My Heart Had Windows,' 'Tender Years' and 'I’m Not Ready Yet.' After more solo performances, Collin Raye, Jett Williams, Lisa Matassa, Suzy Bogguss, T. Graham Brown, T.G. Sheppard and Tracy Lawrence then took to the stage for a mixed rendition of the hits, 'Love In Your Eyes,' 'Wine Colored Roses' and 'I’ll Share My World With You.' Eddy Raven, Ken Mellons, Mark Collie, Lee Greenwood and John Michael Montgomery were next, performing a medley of 'The Cold Hard Truth,' 'The Right Left Hand' and 'She’s My Rock.' The penultimate medley came from Bill Anderson, Bobby Bare, Jim Ed Brown, Jimmy C. Newman, John Conlee, Ray Stevens and Stonewall Jackson, who performed the trio of hits 'When The Last Curtain Falls,' 'Still’ Doin Time' and 'Someday My Day Will Come.' Finally, it was down to Thompson Square to give their version of 'Two Story House' and 'We’re Gonna Hold On,' although their performance wasn't the last.
In all, there were 40 different performances in the night from over 100 different performers, with the medleys, duets and unlikely pairings - we're looking at MEGADETH and Jamey Johnson - all wowing the crowd. George Jones may be gone, but as the stars of country (and metal) showed on Friday night, his memory will live on for generations.
A fitting tribute to a great man