Exclusive: George Jones’ Wife on How George Kicked Booze
Earlier this week, Country Weekly was fortunate enough to speak with Nancy Jones, George Jones’ wife, about the love she and her husband shared. (Look for that story in our May 20 issue, on stands May 13.) During that conversation, Nancy shared her thoughts on what turned George’s life around. In part, it was certainly his wife’s influence, but Nancy said religion also played a role. The hard-living country legend turned to God shortly after the 1999 SUV accident that almost killed him.
“He would always say, ‘I’m through, I’m through, I’m through,’ but whenever he had that wreck, I heard him praying one day,” Nancy shares exclusively. “We have a little bridge that comes over to go to our house. He was praying there. He told me to get the golf cart because he didn’t think he could walk back up [to the house]. I went to get it, and he said to the Good Lord, ‘I will never drink, I will never smoke again if you make me well.’ And he didn’t either. You could line up whiskey wherever you wanted, or cigarettes . . . and he quit it.”
George began to do his part to keep others—especially children—away from booze and smoke. CW tagged along with him when he visited his granddaughter’s school in February for a talk about music and the dangers of stardom.
“That’s what we were going to do when he retired,” Nancy says. “We both talked about it. In November when [the tour] would have finished, and his health got better, that’s what he wanted to do, speak to kids and tell them, ‘Don’t do what I did. Remember you have choices.’”
George Jones passed away Friday, April 26, at 81 in a Nashville hospital. He’ll be laid to rest today (May 2) following a public memorial with special guests Laura Bush, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley and others at the Grand Ole Opry House.
Fans unable to attend in person—services begin at 10 a.m. CT—will be able to watch the memorial live on CMT, GAC, RFD and Family Net, in addition to local Nashville stations. SiriusXM and WSM 650AM will broadcast the event on the radio and WSM Online will stream it over the Internet.