Nicknames are a funny thing, and plenty have been given to county artists over the years. Hank Williams Jr. is Bocephus, Riley Green is Duckman, George Strait is King George, and the list continues.
But what about the origin of those nicknames? And have you ever wondered how the nickname “Possum” was given to George Jones?
Well for Jones, his nickname came from his appearance.
Back in 1959, he released George Jones White Lightning And Other Favorites.
One night radio’s most prominent two disc jockeys, T. Tommy Cutrer and Ralph Emery, were deep into their night show when they made the comparison that Jones mildly resembled a possum on the album cover.
The flattop haircut he was rocking at the time, his pointy nose, and his beady eyes were not helping his case.
While the radio hosts, I’m sure, did not expect the nickname to stick, once it was mentioned on a late-night show…it spread like wildfire.
Soon everyone and their mother was referring to Jones as Possum. While it was not an ideal nickname, he embraced the motto “if you can’t beat them, join them” and began referring to himself by the name too.