George Jones was a country music icon. Even now, eight years after his passing, his influence remains strong in the genre. Several artists that fans see as legends look up to Jones as an inspiration. Alan Jackson is among those artists who is a legend in his own right but credits Jones as an influence. However, Jackson didn’t just look up to Jones. They recorded together and so much more.
Today, Alan Jackson posted a photo of him standing beside George Jones in honor of the icon’s birthday. In the caption, he echoed the sentiment of everyone who loves classic country music. He wrote, “Happy birthday, George – we sure do miss you!” Truer words have seldom been spoken. Check out the epic photo below.
The two of them look like old friends in the photo because they were. Months before he died, George Jones wrote a letter to Alan Jackson that he shared with Taste of Country. In that letter, Jones extended an invitation that no one in their right mind would pass up.
He wanted Jackson to play a show with him in November of 2013. However, Jones died in April of that year. That’s not the most important part of the letter, though. Jones told the “Small Town Southern Man” singer, “You have been a true friend and I love you for that. All these years of you and Denise spending time with Nancy and I is so much appreciated. Thanks for always being there for me.”
He closed the letter in the same way he did all of his correspondence with Jackson, “Keep it country.”
Alan Jackson Sings with and for George Jones
Let’s look back at two times that Alan Jackson and George Jones’ careers intersected. First, we’ll rewind back to 1994. That year, Jackson and Jones teamed up to cut a duet version of “A Good Year for the Roses,” for The Bradley Barn Sessions.
Possum originally cut the Jerry Chesnut-penned tune in 1970 on the album George Jones with Love.
It’s a beautiful balance. George Jones really shines on sad songs. At the same time, Alan Jackson is at his best when he’s going full-on traditional country. This version of the song is hard to beat.
When George Jones died, the entire country music world mourned his passing. Several of the genre’s best took the stage at his funeral to give him a proper sendoff. Vince Gill sang, “Go Rest High on that Mountain.” Randy Travis performed “Amazing Grace.” Alan Jackson stole the show with an emotional rendition of “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
It was a touching and fitting performance. Watch the video below. You can hear the emotion in his voice as Jones’ widow sits front-and-center at the event. The final seconds of Jackson’s performance might just break your heart.