The man had more than 160 singles chart over the course of his 59-year career, dozens of which hit number one (including "She Thinks I Still Care," "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "Tender Years," and arguably his biggest song, "White Lightning"). He also recorded 62 studio albums, including his final disc Burn Your Playhouse Down in 2008.
Jones' gruff barritone added extra gravitas to his meandering tableaux of melancholy and lamentation and here one of the many hallmarks of his music. Notorious for his lifelong battles with the bottle (funny tidbit: he once rode a lawnmower to a bar when one former wife hid his car keys) and his stormy marriage with the equally famous country songstress Tammy Wynette, Jones was a true giant who influenced hundreds of crooners and pickers in country both past and present (as well as the likes of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Costello, and Pete Townsend) and was one of the true outlaws of the genre.
There will never be another like him.
In honor of the Possum's passing, here's a collection of his more poignant quotes from over the years and some of the life lessons that can be learned.
9. "Country fans need to support country music by buying albums and concert tickets for traditional artists or the music will just fade away. And that would be really sad."
8. "Maybe some folks are alcoholics and others are just voluntary drunks.... Maybe some have drinking problems, while others have problems enough to drink."
7. "Country music to me is heartfelt music that speaks to the common man. It is about real life stories with rather simple melodies that the average person can follow. Country music should speak directly and simply about the highs and lows of life. Something that anyone can relate to."
6. "Me and the bottle have always been friends, we've had a few old nasty fights but the bottle would always win, so when I go to answer that final curtain call, I can hear these words being whispered by all... Ol' George stopped drinking today."