George Jones Performs "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?"
Nobody's gonna fill his shoes — Country music legend George Jones dies at 81. The Okie from Muskogee himself, quoted in the article, said it best: "The world has lost the greatest country singer of all time. Amen." Mr. George Jones, rest in peace.
"Today perhaps the greatest country singer of all—though Willie, Hank Sr., and Johnny Cash are all part of the discussion—passed on," agrees The American Conservative's A.G. Gancarsk, writing that "George Jones and Tammy Wynette's collaborations are as complex as their relationship was" — Old Possum’s Book of Practical Duets. "There is a strong case to be made that their duets, primarily recorded from 1971-1980 (most of them while they were still married) were the signature country records of the 1970s," he writes, arguing that "the collaborations between Jones and Wynette spoke volumes about the pressures experienced by their audience." The author continues:
- Consider what the 1970s were like for white working-class families in rural and suburban America. The purchasing power of the dollar had peaked, and circumstances dictated that the halcyon days of the single-paycheck family with the mother staying home to raise the kids and run the house were long gone. The reality was that the so-called traditional family model was fraying, layer by layer, and yet there was a longing in the marketplace for deliberately traditional music (especially given the turbulence of the Vietnam War and bygone notions of social cohesion being undermined by the hippies and the “me generation”). Despite the violence of their marriage, George Jones and Tammy Wynette produced music that hearkened back to a bygone time even as the subtext—in their lives and, increasingly, those of their fans—said that time was long gone and never coming back.