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Nancy Jones talks about her memoir ‘Playin’ Possum: My Memories of George Jones’

Nancy Jones, the widow of country artist George Jones, chatted about her upcoming memoir “Playin’ Possum: My Memories of George Jones.”

George Jones and Nancy Jones
George Jones and Nancy Jones. Photo courtesy of Simon and Schuster
George Jones and Nancy Jones. Photo courtesy of Simon and Schuster

Nancy Jones, the widow of country artist George Jones, chatted about her upcoming memoir “Playin’ Possum: My Memories of George Jones.”

George Jones was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame (inducted in 1992), and he was the winner of two Grammy Awards, both of which were for “Best Male Country Vocal Performance,” one for “Choices,” and the other for “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

New book

Her book is being published on September 12, which coincides with the late country crooner’s birthday. “I am very excited about this book, I’ve been working really hard on it,” Nancy said. “I think it will answer a lot of questions that people will want to know about George Jones.”

“I hadn’t done anything in a long time, and I thought that after being married to George for 30 years, we have have been together for 32 years, and I thought it was time for the fans to know the real truth about George Jones,” she added.

When asked if it was a cathartic process to write this book, Nancy responded, “It was kind of hard, I did a lot of thinking and crying about it. I didn’t hold back, it had to be done the right way. It had the good, bad and the ugly: the happy times and all the difficult ones.”

“George was a funny, nice, and sweet man,” she admitted. “With the help of the good Lord, I got a good man. When George died in 2013, there was no drinking or smoking, it was just what a woman dreams of having a good man.”

Lessons learned from this memoir

“This book taught me about the love of the good Lord… if it wasn’t for that, I don’t think I would have ever made it,” she said.

“While I didn’t have an easy journey, I didn’t run from it either. I said everything that needed to be told, and I think George would have been proud of it. I want people to know that they can’t do everything on their own, they need to have faith and I stress that in there,” she elaborated.

Favorite George Jones songs

She listed “Someday My Day Will Come” and “Walk Through This World With Me” as two of her personal favorite George Jones songs. “George had so many good songs… you could go on and on and on about them,” she said. “I can’t think of one song of his that I didn’t like.”

‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’

CMT had listed George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” No. 2 on its”100 Greatest Country Songs” list. “For me, George had the greatest voice ever,” she said. “I’ve worked so hard to keep his legacy going. This is a man who never ever had a voice lesson.”

“His voice was a gift from God, he was born with that voice,” she revealed. “George was primarily a ballad singer, he just loved ballads. When he opened his mouth, George knew how to phrase that song and how to bring it out.”

“When George sang, he would bring people to tears. It was just tearjerkers. He was the greatest country singer ever. I’ve never heard anyone that could sing a song and kill it like George Jones did,” she added.

What country music means to Nancy Jones

Nancy is drawn to the country music genre for many reasons. “I love country music,” she said. “When I first heard George sing, and the way he would phrase things, I was like ‘wow.’ I love country music because it tells a story, and it is something that I was taught by George.”

“If you listen to real country music, you are going to hear a real story and everyday life. I just love it,” she added.

‘Tonight I’m Playin’ Possum’ tribute duet

Nancy also praised the Randy Travis and Joe Nichols duet tribute “Tonight I’m Playin’ Possum” that they did following George Jones’ passing. “That was a wonderful tribute,” she said.

Stage of her life

On the title of the current chapter of her life, she responded, “My life right now is all about keeping George Jones’ legacy alive.”

George Jones musical tribute

In addition to the new book, a George Jones musical tribute is planned on October 17 in 1,000 theatres across the country via Fathom Events. It was recorded on April 23 at a show in Huntsville, Alabama, that was filmed on the 10th anniversary of his passing. 

Some of the contemporary country artists that performed in this tribute included Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Jelly Roll, Wynonna, Trace Adkins, and Travis Tritt, among others. “I had 32 artists on there, and it was absolutely wonderful,” she said.

“George really loved his fans,” she underscored. “I want his fans to learn the real story of what he went through., and what we both went through the get those demons out of him. I wish always cherish George, and try my best to carry on his legacy.”

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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