A single candle was lit at Nashville's Ernest Tubb Record Shop, where only a handful of Jones CDs remained on the shelves
Over the weekend following the passing of George Jones, the singer's voice could be heard all around classic country circles. Nowhere was the loss of Jones more evident than a stage where he had been a member since 1969: the Grand Ole Opry.
On both Friday and Saturday night, the WSM radio show paid tribute to the "Possum" with many performers adding Jones songs into their repertoire. Arista Nashville recording artist Kristen Kelly offered a dazzling version of Jones' 1999 hit "Choices," while Gospel star Jason Crabb performed a gripping version of "He Stopped Loving Her Today," after he shared a memory with the audience concerning a Jones cassette that his father would always put into the family car tape deck on vacations.
Other artists who saluted Jones included Mark Chesnutt, Jim Ed Brown, Jimmy Newman, and bluegrass queen Rhonda Vincent, who delivered a dead-on take on "When The Grass Grows Over Me." Brad Paisley – an Opry member since 2001- made a surprise performance on the show Friday night to perform a medley of Jones classics, and to offer his thoughts on Jones' passing.
But, it wasn't just in Nashville where his influence was felt. At the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, CA, the singer was paid tribute to by Toby Keith ("She Thinks I Still Care"), Joe Nichols ("One Woman Man"), and Trace Adkins ("The Grand Tour"). Adkins related a memory to the crowd concerning a baby shower for his wife Rhonda that was thrown at the Jones home.
As the tributes continued to come from all around the world, fans also snapped up their favorite Jones recordings. At Nashville's Ernest Tubb Record Shop (where a candle in honor of Jones was placed just inside the store's Music Valley entrance), the usual heavy supply of Jones recordings had dwindled to just a small handful of CD's by Sunday afternoon, and as of Monday morning, Jones recordings accounted for seven of the one hundred most purchased country songs on iTunes, while eight of his albums were represented on the site's top-100 country album chart.
Jones' music has also been featured on radio stations across the world over the past few days, with Nashville's Hippie Radio 94.5 in Nashville devoting much of their Friday night broadcast to his memory. The show's host, Keith Bilbrey, was a longtime family friend, and WSM Radio's Eddie Stubbs will be doing a five-hour tribute to Jones this coming Wednesday evening from 7pm-12am CST. Fans can listen on the station's website.
Jones's funeral will take place Thursday morning at 10am at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. It is open to the public.