Top 5 Moments From Still Playin’ Possum: Music and Memories of George Jones

Tuesday night (April 25) at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville Alabama, a host of country stars celebrated one of the genre’s most beloved names: George Jones.

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“No-Show Jones.” “Possum.” Whatever you want to call him, Jones’ legacy is woven deep within the fabric of country music today. From “He Stopped Loving Her Today” to “Golden Ring,” Jones’ music is beloved by fans and his fellow artists alike—which was made perfectly clear by the wide expanse of artists that showed up in Hunstville to play through his discography.

“I am so thankful to the loyal fans of Country music,” Nancy Jones said in a statement prior to the show. “George’s music still lives on and I am so honored that so many of George’s fellow artists and friends have agreed to come to celebrate him.”

Among the line-up were Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Jamey Johnson, Justin Moore, Lorrie Morgan, Mark Chesnutt, Michael Ray, Sam Moore, Tanya Tucker, Trace Adkins, Tracy Byrd, Tracy Lawrence, Travis Tritt, Wynonna Judd, Aaron Lewis, Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke, Dillon Carmichael, Gretchen Wilson, Joe Nichols, Randy Travis, and Sara Evans.

PBS is set to air the show for those who missed it (though no date has been confirmed yet), but while you wait, check out our top 5 performances from the show—which had no shortage of memorable moments.

1. Tim Watson Nails “I’m a One Woman Man”

Black Creek, Alabama native Tim Watson brought his fiddle to the stage for a hearty rendition of Jones’ “‘I’m a One Woman Man.” Watson has played with a few of the artists on the line-up – namely Tanya Tucker and Travis Tritt – and notably backed-up Tammy Wynette in the late ’80s. His skill on the strings cannot be denied but it’s his stage presence that really kept eyes firmly planted on Watson throughout his appearance at Still Playin’ Possum.

Between singing the buoyant choruses of Jones’ 1989 hit, Watson hammered out a solo on the fiddle with a beaming smile on his face—an infectious one that quickly spread to the audience. Though he may not have been the most recognizable name on the line-up, his performance was an undeniable standout.

2. The Isaacs Soothe With “The Right Left Hand”

Anyone who has seen The Isaacs live will know the power of their four-part harmony. Each of the family band’s members—Lily, Becky, Sonya, and Ben Isaacs—brings a powerful set of vocals to the table. On Tuesday night, they came together in perfect consonance for Jones’ “The Right Left Hand.”

“The Right Left Hand” has long been thought to be dedicated to Jones’ fourth wife Nancy—who was in attendance for Still Playin’ Possum. The Isaacs gave the song all the blissful reverence it deserved with Nancy sitting front row.

3. Jelly Roll Delivers Delicate Version of “Bartender’s Blues”

Jelly Roll brought the crowd to its feet with the mere mention of his name. Once on stage, the latest CMT Breakthrough Male Video of the Year winner, showed the crowd his softer side, singing Jones’ crooning ballad “Bartender’s Blues.”

Of all of Jones’ songs, this sweeping, down-tempo number would likely be the last one you’d expect Jelly Roll to take on, but that’s what made it all the more exciting to watch him nail every second.

4. Wynonna Judd and Jamey Johnson Duet On “Golden Ring”

Though Jones and Wynette duetted many times throughout their career together, “Golden Ring” is no doubt their signature. As an homage to the iconic duo, Wynonna Judd and Jamey Johnson took the stage to perform the 1975 ballad.

Judd and Johnson both have a grit to their voice that gave the duet a new edge. “I wanna do it again!” Judd told the crowd after wrapping up the final notes to “Golden Ring.” If it were up to us, we would’ve let her.

5. Brad Paisley Brings it Home With “He Stopped Loving Her Today”

When you attend a George Jones tribute concert, you count down the minutes until you get to hear the opening line to “He Stopped Loving Her Today”—He said, I’ll love you till I die. At Still Playin’ Possum, headliner Brad Paisley was given the honor of delivering that opening line, much to the audience’s approval.

“What an amazing thing to be a part of,” Paisley said prior to starting the song. This song has been covered countless times since Jones released it in 1980. Paisley delivered yet another stellar version of the hit, showcasing how truly timeless the heartbreak in “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is.

Credit: Bud Gambrell / Von Braun Center

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