Country singer George Jones, after a week of total seclusion from his family and management, resurfaced Saturday, too late for a soldout performance at the Wax Museum that night. The singer, who had been missing since last Monday, turned up at noon at the Muscle Shoals, Ala., home of his manager Gerald Murray. Jones, who frequently has disappeared without notice in the past, apparently was deeply affected by the death last week of his longtime friend and booking agent Shortly Lavender. Lavender died at the age of 49 after a long and painful bout with cancer.
Murray said he did not know where Jones had spent the week. Muscle Shoals police yesterday said they had been award that Jones was missing but had taken no action because he had disappeared voluntarily.
Keith Krokyn, booking manager of the Wax Museum, said Saturday night that Murray told him that "when Shorty died, George took it real hard and got lost." Murray explained that "if you'd grown up with somebody and been together all those times, you just don't go to work the next day or the next day."
The disappearance had Jones' close friends worried because Lavender was about the same age as Jones, and Krokyn said they apparently feared that Jones was feeling "mortal." Krokyn said Murray reported that during Jones' disappearance, the singer had not contacted his girlfriend, manager or parents. "He didn't want anybody knowing where he was," Murray said.
Jones was scheduled to appear on "Good Morning America" today, but that appearance has been moved to Wednesday.According to Murray, the Wax Museum concert has been rescheduled for March 27. Jones, who had problems with alcoholism earlier in his career, has been making a strong comeback in the last three years, and Murray insisted that this disappearance was not a repetition of the past. "He and Shorty were very close. We knew he was going to take it hard."