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More than 35 years ago, George Jones recorded “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” a song that wondered aloud whether newcomers would come along that could possibly walk in the footsteps of the progenitors and giants of country music. All this time later, it’s not a question we’ve had to seriously consider: Jones himself is still around to step into those shoes of sublimity. They just happen to be exactly his size. A jury of his peers has found him guilty… of unparalleled vocal superiority. Consider some of these endorsements from fellow music legends: Frank Sinatra famously (and coyly) referred to Jones as “the second greatest singer in America.” Garth Brooks summed up the consensus view when he called him “the greatest voice ever to sing country music.” Waylon Jennings expressed a common jealousy when he said, "If we all could sound the way we wanted, we'd all sound like George Jones." Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones put things in more honorific terms: "George Jones is a national treasure and should be treated accordingly.”
Fifty-six years after being named the Most Promising New Country Vocalist of 1956, Jones still is out with a regular touring routine. Audiences still flock to hear the voice that is country’s most indescribable as well as, by acclamation, its finest. And the fact that Jones is the single greatest living link to country’s golden age is not lost on a generation of younger singers who not only revere him but continually name-check him in their own hits.
Awards & Accolades
Jones has received many honors during his long career, from Most Promising New Country Vocalist in 1956, being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992, and being named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2008, as well as winning a 2012 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
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