LIONEL COMMENTARY: Eulogium for the Possum. The Country Music Reference. The Standard.

The reference. The standard. The clenched baritone. The baleful muted howl of incomprehensible loss. All set to a catchy beat. Incomprehensible. A toe-tapping ditty chronicling suicidal loss. A 1-2, a 1-2-3-4. “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” True, no exaggeration, the greatest country song ever. The reference. The standard. This is my most prized photo of a celebrity. And to call George a celebrity misses the point. This was December 1993. I look like a baggage handler for Air Morocco (and I have no Idea what that means). When I entered the room where George was greeting special guests (Ahem!) someone announced that there would be no autographs, only photos. Who wants an autograph? Of course I want a photo. To prove the moment. Pert near 20 years ago. You rarely meet those rare people who can do something so rare, so rare no one can even approximate it. George Jones spoke sad fluently. And remarkably could make it catchy. Giving heartache a 4/4 signature. Yabba dabba doo the King is gone.

And if you had any doubt as to the power of George … .

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