Country Throwback: The Time George Jones Was Beat Up By Cowboys

by Keeli Parkey
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Anyone with knowledge of the history of country music can talk about stars whose relationship with alcohol didn’t always have the best results. One of those stars was the legendary George Jones.

As a matter of fact, fans of the Possum can now hear details about one of his misadventures thanks to YouTuber Otis Gibbs. Gibbs has recently been reading from “I Live to Tell It All,” which is the singer’s autobiography.

“It’s really good,” Gibbs says of the book. “The whole first half of this book is George Jones getting drunk and fighting somebody.”

But, while fictional fights in movies and in television shows can be entertaining, fights in real life are not, according to Gibbs.

“It’s just no way to live,” Gibbs said. “And, you could tell George Jones was on a one-way street going nowhere. The bottle was not his friend. We all have those buddies that when they drink they just become violent and a monster. It really seems like George Jones might have been that kind of guy.”

For instance, Gibbs goes on to recount one incident described in the autobiography where the Possum was beaten by a group of cowboys. The event took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Jones was playing at a bar with Stonewall Jackson. At one point during the evening, words were exchanged with the group of cowboys, and a bottle was thrown past Jackson’s head. That really made Jones mad, according to Gibbs.

George Jones then yelled and asked who threw the bottle at Jackson. An individual, who is described in the book as a cowboy, answered without reservation.

George Jones Fights Cowboys in New Mexico

According to the book, Jones then throws a punch at the cowboy. The punch misses and Jones is soon knocked out with a return punch from the cowboy.

“I was later told I flipped over backward in mid-air,” George Jones says in the autobiography. “I landed face down in a puddle that was about eight inches deep.”

As he lays unconscious in the puddle, George Jones is kicked and beaten by cowboys.

“The air was filled with fists and feet and Stonewall said he feared that I would drown as I lay there unaware of what was happening to me,” Jones writes in the autobiography.

With Jones unconscious on the ground, the cowboys then turned their attention to Jackson, according to the book. “The cowboys turned on Stonewall,” Jones writes. “They beat him so severely that his eyes swelled shut. He couldn’t open them the next day.”

The beating ended and Jones, thanks to Jackson, wakes as law enforcement gets to the scene. Importantly, Jones says in the book that he believes he could have died that night in New Mexico. What saved him was Jackson pulling his head out of the water as he laid unconscious.

You can watch Otis Gibbs talk about George Jones below:

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