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George Jones at Viking Hall
Rabbit fans enjoyed a sensational concert with the 'Possum!

On Saturday, February 1st, 96.9 WXBQ and the Rabbit welcomed legendary country singer George Jones back to Viking Hall in Bristol. Ricky Lynn Gregg opened the show. Hundreds of fans waiting to hear their favorite hits from the 'Possum and roared with applause when George took the stage.

George Jones first hit the charts in the 1950's. In April 1999, he celebrated the 40th Anniversary of "White Lightning" - his first Number One record. Whether the times have favored honky tonk songs or lushly produced "pop" offerings, George Jones has continued to make his brand of country music, which has produced hits in every decade of the second half of the 20th century. In fact, George Jones has had more nationally charted singles than any other artist in any format in the history of popular music.

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George Glenn Jones was born in Saratoga, in East Texas. As a kid, he sang for tips on the streets of nearby Beaumont. By age 24, he had been married twice, served in the Marines and was a veteran of the Texas honky tonk circuit. In 1955 he recorded "Why Baby Why" which became his first Top Five hit. After that came "White Lightning" then "Tender Years" and "She Thinks I Still Care". All three hit the Number One spot on the charts. George was named CMA Male Vocalist of the Year in 1962 and again in 1963. Later, after a string hits had firmly establishing him as the top male singer in country music, George married country music's hottest new female artist Tammy Wynette in 1969.

His marriage to Tammy was stormy but in the recording studio they were the perfect duet partners, hitting Number One with "We're Gonna Hold On", "Golden Ring", and more. George continued to also have solo hits as well.

After his D-I-V-O-R-C-E from Tammy, George scored big with one of the all-time great country records, "He Stopped Loving Her Today". That won him Single of the Year honors from the CMA in 1980 and again in 1981. He won virtually every award available for that song including a Grammy, and the song remained at Number One for 18 weeks!

For two more decades, George Jones continued to pump out hits and gather more awards. Then tragedy struck!

In 1998 George had a horrific car accident when he lost control of his SUV vehicle and hit a bridge just a mile from his home. It took two hours for emergency medical teams to free him from the car. Doctors feared the worst. George had a collapsed lung, torn liver and other internal injuries. He remained in critical care on a ventilator to help him breathe for eleven days then developed pneumonia. The situation looked bleak. But George did get better!

After recovering for several months, Jones resumed his career and his never-ending touring schedule. But, this was a new George Jones who had finally turned his life around. Not only did he give up liquor, he stopped smoking and drinking coffee. "That accident put the fear of God into me," George said. "I realized I was getting to the age that I had to quit all that mess and smoking was hurting my lungs and affecting my voice. So, I just quit it all. Within months I was hitting higher notes than I ever hit before and wishing I had done it years ago."

The WXBQ Crew and thousands of fans enjoyed having George back in our neck of the woods. It was truly a great country concert at Viking Hall, and there are more great concerts and events planned for you to enjoy. For the latest scoop on what's coming up, keep listening to Twenty-Four Carrot Country...96.9 WXBQ!

Rabbit Photos From George Jones Concert at Viking Hall


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