Sunday, April 28, 2013

The George Jones Sound

The George Jones Sound
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/04/george-jones-voice-dies.html

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"George Jones, the man with perhaps the most distinctive and iconic voice in country music, died on Friday in Nashville at the age of eighty-one.

In the first moments after the news broke, thousands of people reached the same conclusion at the same time, a nice instance of hive-mind solidarity, and the Spotify and YouTube tracking numbers will surely reveal a massive spike for his song "He Stopped Loving Her Today," which is one of the great sad songs in the American songbook, written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman. Jones took it to No. 1 on the country charts in 1980. Great artists are always preparing us for their deaths, giving us, through their careers, the tools with which to remember them. But rarely is a song so apt. "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is the ur-country story song, about a man who'd never gotten over his broken heart. The man kept a picture of his old flame by his bed, and her old letters, where he'd underlined "Every single 'I love you.' " The man had lived in torment, released only by death. The chorus goes like this:

He stopped loving her today
They placed a wreath upon his door
And soon they'll carry him away
He stopped loving her today.

" ...

That song is so sad I've never been able to listen to it all the way to the end.

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