Now, in I Lived To Tell It All, George Jones supplies a no-holds-barred account of his excesses and ecstasies. How alcohol ruled his life and performances. How violence marred many friendships and relationships. How money was something to be made but never held on to. And, finally, how the love of a good woman can ultimately change a man, redeem him, and save his life.
In a masterful biography laden with new revelations, veteran country music journalist/historian Rich Kienzle offers a definitive, full-bodied portrait of legendary country singer George Jones and the music that remains his legacy. Kienzle meticulously sifted through archival material, government records, recollections by colleagues and admirers, interviewing many involved in Jones’s life and career. The result: an evocative portrait of this enormously gifted, tragically tormented icon called “the Keith Richards of country.”
Kienzle chronicles Jones’s impoverished East Texas childhood as the youngest son of a deeply religious mother and alcoholic, often-abusive father. He examines his three troubled marriages including his union with superstar Tammy Wynette and looks unsparingly at Jones’s demons. Alcohol and later cocaine nearly killed him until fourth wife Nancy helped him learn to love himself. Kienzle also details Jones’s remarkable musical journey from singing in violent Texas honky tonks to Grand Ole Opry star, hitmaker and master vocalist whose raw, emotionally powerful delivery remains the Gold Standard for country singers.
The George Jones of this heartfelt biography lived hard before finding contentment until he died at eighty-one—a story filled with whiskey, women and drugs but always the saving grace of music.
Illustrated with eight pages of photos.
We'll hear of the great love stories ranging from Johnny Cash and June Carter in the 1960s to Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, who married in 2005. We'll get the truth of the tragedies that led to the loss of three stars all in the same month, starting the rumor of the "Opry Curse." We'll learn how after being stabbed, shot, and maimed, Trace Adkins calls his early honky-tonk years "combat country," and we'll find inspiration from DeFord Bailey, an African American harmonica player in 1927 crippled by childhood polio who rose to fame as one of the first Opry stars. Our hearts will break for Willie Nelson, who lost his only son on Christmas Day, and soar for Amy Grant and Vince Gill, who found true love.
Based on over 150 firsthand interviews with the stars of The Grand Ole Opry, these are stories that tell the heart of country--the lives that are lived and inspire the songs we love.
There are many intriguing -- even explosive -- revelations here, in a portrait that is honest, though sometimes painful; poignant, yet full of good humor. More than 150 rare photos depict the private as well as public side of the unforgettable "Gentleman Jim." Billboard and Country Music People have given it rave reviews, and the book has been Nominated for the prestigious Belmont Award for the Best Book on Country Music.