Halfway through Toby Keith’s set on Friday night at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, California, Keith stopped the music to talk about his old friend George Jones, who had passed away that morning.
Keith told the audience what Jones was like and described him as a “great guy and the face of country music everybody recognized.” He also reminded the younger generation in the audience to “look him up online.” A few seconds later, he launched into the musical portion of his tribute; “here’s a little something you might recognize,” he said before strumming the chords to Jones’ classic hit “She Thinks I Still Care.” Keith would later play his rendition of “White Lighting,” another one of Jones’ memorable hits.
On the grounds at Stagecoach, California radio station K-FROG 95.1 asked artists for their memories of Jones.
Trace Adkins (who also paid tribute to Jones onstage) was at a loss for words as he recalled being woken up by the phone call Friday morning. He then recalled how Jones and his wife Nancy Jones hosted a baby shower for his own wife nine years ago.
“He and Nancy both, they meant so much to me and my family,” he said. “I remember going over to George’s house that night to pick up all the stuff that she had gotten and just sitting there for a while and going, ‘Man, 25 years ago if somebody would have told me that I was going to pull up at George Jones’ house because my wife was having a baby shower in his house.’ It was just a surreal moment where I just sat there for a while.”
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