George Jones in 1977. (AP) George Jones in 1977. (AP)

“George Jones’ voice was a rowdy Saturday night uproar at a back-street beer joint, the heartbroken wail of the one who wakes up to find the other side of the bed empty, the far-off lonesome whistle of the midnight train, the look in the eyes of a young bride as that ring is placed on her finger, the memories of a half-asleep old man dreaming about the good old days. . . He sang for us all, the non-stop partiers, the guys who are alone and the girl done wrong, the puppy lovers, the extrovert, the introvert and the guy at the end of the bar who never seems to go home . . . George had a song for everybody.”

— Charlie Daniels’s gorgeously poetic tribute to George Jones at the country legend’s Grand Ole Opry memorial service in Nashville Thursday. Barbara Mandrell, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Wynonna Judd, the Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Travis  were among the many country stars who spoke or sang in his memory; among those Washington denizens who delivered eulogies were Laura Bush, Mike Huckabee and Bob Schieffer: “Nobody could sing like George Jones,” the CBS newsman said. “You couldn’t because you hadn’t been through what he had been through.”

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