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George Jones tribute concert is fitting farewell

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George Jones tribute concert is fitting farewell

By Stephen L. Betts. CREATED Nov 23, 2013

It ran nearly four hours and featured a veritable "who's who" of country performers and a few non-country acts as well. But the George Jones tribute concert at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena Friday night, billed as "Playin' Possum: the Final No Show," was squarely focused on the memory of one of the most important, influential artists of the 20th century. George Jones, had he lived, was scheduled to close out his years of touring with this concert. Instead, the singer whose personal demons throughout the '70s and early '80s garnered him the nickname "No Show Jones," had what many would say was the best seat in the house, for a celebration that spotlighted just a sampling of the hundreds of songs he recorded throughout his extraordinary career.

From Martina McBride and George Strait to Jamey Johnson and Megadeth, the 100-plus performers who offered up Jones songs both ubiquitous and obscure, represented classic and modern country with a touch of rock thrown in for good measure. (See the complete list of songs and performers below). It was a fitting farewell to the icon who passed away in April at age 81.

Naturally, the sold-out show closed with a rendition of "He Stopped Loving Her Today" by Alan Jackson, who invited the singer's widow, Nancy Jones, onstage and encouraged the crowd to sing along. Whether they joined in or just stood silently, taking in the whole experience, those in attendance will no doubt treasure the magical evening for a long time to come.

Playin' Possum! The Final No Show tribute to George Jones setlist
(via Billboard

"Lovebug," Big & Rich
"White Lightning," Kid Rock
"Take Me," Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks
Medley: "If My Heart Had Windows"/"Tender Years"/"I’m Not Ready Yet," Emmylou Harris, Jeannie Seely, Jeanne Pruett, Jan Howard, Janie Fricke, Leona Williams
"Once You've Had the Best," Lee Ann Womack
"Me and Jesus," Charlie Daniels
"I'm Ragged But I’m Right," Dailey and Vincent/Baillie and the Boys
"High Tech Redneck," Kentucky Headhunters
"The Blues Man," Sam Moore
"I'm a Long Gone Daddy," Kathy Mattea
"Things Have Gone to Pieces," Clay Walker
"Choices," Eric Church
"She Thinks I Still Care," Tommy Shaw
"I Always Get Lucky With You," Dierks Bentley
"Same Ole Me," Oak Ridge Boys
"A Good Year for the Roses," Larry Gatlin
Medley: "Love In Your Eyes"/"Wine Colored Roses"/"I’ll Share My World With You," Collin Raye, Jett Williams, Lisa Matassa, Suzy Bogguss, T. Graham Brown, T.G. Sheppard, Tracy Lawrence
"These Days (I Barely Get By)," Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton
"I’m a One Woman Man," Josh Turner
"Finally Friday,"Craig Morgan
"I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair," Daryle Singletary, T. Graham Brown, Pam Tillis and guest appearance from Little Jimmy Dickens
Medley: "The Cold Hard Truth"/"The Right Left Hand"/"She’s My Rock," Eddy Raven, Ken Mellons, Mark Collie, Lee Greenwood, John Michael Montgomery
"The Door," Travis Tritt
"The One I Loved Back Then (The Corvette Song)," Brad Paisley
"Wild Irish Rose," Jamey Johnson and Megadeth
"Why Baby Why," Jim Lauderdale and the Roys
Medley: "When the Last Curtain Falls,"/"Still’ Doin Time,"/"Someday My Day Will Come," Bill Anderson, Bobby Bare, Jim Ed Brown, Jimmy C. Newman, John Conlee, Ray Stevens, Stonewall Jackson
"Tennessee Whiskey," Jamey Johnson
"When the Grass Grows Over Me," Rodney Atkins
"A Picture of Me (Without You)," Lorrie Morgan
"The Race Is On," Montgomery Gentry
Medley: Two Story House"/"We’re Gonna Hold On," Thompson Square
"Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes," Eric Lee Bedingfield, Mandy Barnett, Teea Goans, Chad Warrix, Greg Bates
"If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)," Shooter Jennings and Jessi Colter
"Color of the Blues," Patty Loveless
"Walk Through This World With Me," Lisa Matassa
"Bartenders' Blues," Vince Gill
"The Grand Tour," George Strait
"Golden Ring," George Strait and Martina McBride
"He Stopped Loving Her Today," Alan Jackson

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts ("Steve") is a Nashville-based journalist who started his career as a tour guide, karaoke operator and library assistant at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.