George Jones Remembered
May 2, 2013 at 2:21 PM (PT)
Earlier TODAY (5/2), the funeral was held for Country legend GEORGE JONES at THE GRAND OLE OPRY HOUSE in NASHVILLE. Fans from all over camped out last night in anticipation for his service, and thousands waiting in line this morning as doors opened at 9a (CT). Many Country artists and industry personnel were in attendance, as well as politicians. The funeral began at 10a (CT) with a moment of silence.
TANYA TUCKER, along with THE IMPERIALS, sang the opening hymn, “Old Rugged Cross,” and a tribute by TENNESSEE Governor BILL HASLAM followed. “TENNESSEE will never stop loving GEORGE JONES,” said HASLAM.
"It's not a goodbye. It's an 'I'll see you soon,'" said Pastor MIKE WILSON, who gave the opening prayer. Throughout the service, musical tributes included RANDY TRAVIS singing “Amazing Grace,” OAK RIDGE BOYS with “Farther Along,” CHARLIE DANIELS and “Softly and Tenderly,” TRAVIS TRITT singing “WHY ME LORD,” “Best Of Me” by KID ROCK, a tear-filled “Go Rest High On That Mountain” sung by VINCE GILL and PATTY LOVELESS, BRAD PAISLEY with “Me & JESUS,” RONNIE MILSAP singing “When The Grass Grows Over Me” and WYNONNA with “How Great Thou Art.” Speakers included CBS Chief WASHINGTON Correspondent BOB SCHIEFFER, BARBARA MANDRELL, former FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH, GRAND OLE OPRY GM PETE FISHER, ARKANSAS Governor MIKE HUCKABEE and KENNY CHESNEY.
Pastor MIKE WILSON gave the benediction, and ALAN JACKSON closed the service with his rendition of “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” which end with his cowboy hat over his heart and a “We love you GEORGE.”
Other memorable quotes from the service include:
“He was more than a Country singer, he was a Country song,” said SCHIEFFER. Soon after, DANIELS said, ““As long as there is Country music he will be remembered. We are going to miss you, MR. JONES.”
Just before singing “Best Of Me,” KID ROCK directed this statement toward MRS. NANCY, "No matter what we got of GEORGE JONES you got the best of him."
"In American music, GEORGE was truly a legend beyond compare,” spoke former FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH.
PAISLEY began with, “Go buy his records and see what all this ruckus is about.”
"Yes Country music tells a story, and GEORGE JONES is an amazing one,” said FISHER.
"GEORGE JONES did not sing to us; he sang for us, that was the difference,” spoke HUCKABEE.
“I wanted to come here today to thank GEORGE for being GEORGE,” said CHESNEY. “For showing me how to be human.”
“We have lost a treasure,” said WYNONNA.
Some of the Honorary pallbearers included GARTH BROOKS, former PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH, JIMMY DICKENS, PETE FISHER, KIRT WEBSTER. For a full list, click here.
The event was broadcasted on OPRY ENTERTAINMENT Classic Country WSM-A/NASHVILLE, as well as WILLIE’s ROADHOUSE on SIRIUSXM56. In addition, national television networks CMT, GAC, RFD and FAMILYNET featured the service, as well as local NASHVILLE stations WKRN 2, WSMV 4, WTVF 5 and WZTV. Check local listings for times of rebroadcast.