The Possum is a legend for the impact that he made with his music, with songs like “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “The Grand Tour,” “A Good Year For Roses,” “Still Doin’ Time,” and so many more that remain some of the greatest of all time in country music.
But as much as he’s known for his songs, and for having one of the all-time best voices in country music, George was also known for his struggles with drugs and alcohol – and the wild stories that resulted from those battles.
Of course everybody knows the infamous lawnmower story, when Jones’ then-wife hid his car keys to keep him from going to the liquor store but George took off down the road on his Cub Cadet riding mower to fulfill his addiction.
There was also the time a drunken George Jones had convinced himself that his wife at the time, Tammy Wynette, was having an affair with fellow country singer Porter Wagoner. So Jones confronted Wagoner – while he was at the urinal in the restroom at the Grand Ole Opry.
Jones reportedly grabbed Wagoner by the…well, the manhood, and began to twist while telling Wagoner that he wanted to see “what Tammy’s so proud of.”
His behavior was so out of control when he was drunk and high that he once had to be hogtied by Waylon Jennings after Jones showed up intoxicated to Waylon’s house and began causing a scene.
But Jones was eventually able to turn it around and beat his demons.
In his later years, George Jones overcame his addictions and sobered up for good. And it was one of his proudest accomplishments – one that he even joked about when planning his own funeral.
Nancy recalls going with George to Woodlawn Cemetery, the final resting place of many prominent members of the country music community, to pick out his burial plot. But George didn’t just pick out one plot: He wanted 68.
Asking him why he needed 68 burial plots, George had his reasoning that was hard to argue with:
“I’m not going to be crowded out here!”
But George also had another wish for his funeral, one that may sound bizarre but after spending so much of his life under the influence before finally getting sober for good, highlights the pride that George felt at his sobriety – and his sense of humor.
According to Nancy, George told her:
“I hope it rains when I die. Because I’ll be the only one dry at the funeral.”