Randy Travis performed a breathtaking rendition of “Amazing Grace” during George Jones’ public funeral service on May 2, 2013.
Country music lost a bona fide legend when George Jones died on April 26, 2013. To celebrate Jones’ musical legacy, a who’s who of country stars gathered at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House on May 2, 2013.
Performers included Vince Gill (“Go Rest High on That Mountain”), Travis Tritt (“Why Me Lord”), Brad Paisley (“Me & Jesus”), Wynonna (“How Great Thou Art”), Alan Jackson (“He Stopped Loving Her Today”), Ronnie Milsap (“When the Grass Grows Over Me”), and more. Additional artists and dignitaries were present, including former First Lady Laura Bush, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, CBS reporter Bob Schieffer, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, and more.
One of the most moving performances, especially in retrospect, was when Randy Travis took the stage with his acoustic guitar to sing “Amazing Grace.”
Two months later in July 2013, Randy would suffer a debilitating stroke. Before you hit “play” on Randy’s beautiful performance, let’s rewind a bit.
Of course, “Amazing Grace” is recognized as one of the most beloved gospel songs of all time. The hymn was penned by poet/clergyman John Newton is 1772. It has been recorded thousands of times over the last 100 years by artists from all genres. Notable renditions include Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Andrea Bocelli, Alan Jackson, and more.
In fact, George Jones recorded a version of “Amazing Grace” on his 1974 album, In a Gospel Way. Indeed, George was a bit of a rabble-rouser during his heyday. But he always enjoyed singing the gospel music of his youth.
Randy Honors George
With his distinctive baritone, Randy Travis established himself as a country star in the mid-1980s. Randy found success on the charts with hits like “Diggin’ Up Bones,” “Forever and Ever, Amen,” “Deeper Than the Holler,” and more. Of course, Randy sustained his success throughout the 1990s, too.
However, in 2000, Randy took a detour from traditional country music to release a string of inspirational/gospel albums, including 2000’s Inspirational Journey, 2002’s Worship & Faith, 2004’s Passing Through, 2005’s Glory Train, and 2007’s Songs of the Season. Randy recorded a stunning version of “Amazing Grace” as the closing track on Inspirational Journey.
When it was time to honor George Jones during his public funeral on May 2, 2013, Randy delivered a stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace,” accompanied by the peaceful strumming of his acoustic guitar. While the stroke Randy suffered two months later has robbed him of his distinctive croon, he has since celebrated personal triumphs, including joining the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.
Watch Randy honor George Jones in 2013 by singing “Amazing Grace.”