The Duck And The Old Man: The Bizarre Story Of George Jones’ Drug-Induced Multiple Personality Disorder

George Jones country music
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Man, I can’t get enough of these Tales from the Tour Bus videos.

The videos consist of interviews from a ton of people who were close to country music legends like Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson, and so many others, telling stories that many people may not know.

With that being said, I came across an odd story about Jones himself.

When Wynette couldn’t fight back against Jones’ alcohol abuse any longer, the two divorced, and she went on the road without Jones for the first time in years.

Jones had a hard time coping with the harsh reality, and began to spiral out of control with a bad cocaine addiction.

“George would jerk out a bag of cocaine and just get completely stoned… totally.”

Apparently, the excessive cocaine used forced some kind of psychotic breakdown in the country singers mind, to the point where he developed a multiple personality disorder…

And the personalities?

A duck named “DeeDoodle,” and “The Old Man.”

According to Tammy’s hairdresser’s Janette and Nanette Smith, the duck came first:

“The duck came first, and the old man came later so he could have somebody to talk to.”

People close to him said that he would stay up all night, having a conversation with the duck, which he spoke in a Donald Duck voice, and the old man, which was a slightly deeper, more gravely voice than his own.

The psychotic breaks would happen when he was driving too, and the conversations between the “duck” and the “old man” would get so heated, that George would have to get in the middle of them to calm them down.

He’d be so focused on the fight going on between the two personalities, that he’d forget that he was driving and crash his car.

Finally, George realized he’d had enough of the duck, and when they were on the tour bus one night, he decided to “kick the duck off the bus.”

However, he began to miss the duck and felt bad for him, so he made the bus driver turn around so they could pick the imaginary duck up off the side of the road.

Eventually his bandmates had enough tried to convince him to get back on the road with Tammy so he could gain control of his life and perform again.

Wild times, man.

George Jones Makes A Comeback

After his marriage fell apart with Tammy Wynette back in 1975 due to his drug and alcohol abuse problems, Ol’ Possum was at a crossroads in his career.

He was beginning to fall out of love with playing country music, and was in a lot of debt due to his legal issues and battle with addiction. But there was one song he released on this date in 1980 that would put his name back on the map, and solidify his place among the country legends: “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

Written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman (who also wrote Wynette’s D-I-V-O-R-C-E), it easily became his most recognizable and popular song. So while Jones himself didn’t write it, it’s often linked back to his love for Tammy.

It was released as the lead single on his album, I Am What I Am, and hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs, while also reaching as high as number two on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks.

On top of that, the song climbed to number 21 on the Billboard charts back in 2013 following Jones’s death. Even Alan Jackson, who is very vocal about Jones being one of his biggest inspirations, sang the song at his funeral.

Through all of the ups and downs Jones faced during his career, it’s really cool to see how his love for his former wife is what brought him back to the top of country music.

By 1984, much in part due to his new wife Nancy, George got sober and stayed mostly sober for a good part of the ’80s. However, it would take a car crash in 1999 to set him straight for good.

He thanked his ex-wife and his new “husband-in-law” at the 1981 ACM Awards when he won Best Song and Top Male Vocalist.

Alan Jackson’s stunning cover:

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