George Jones is coming to Fulton

By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times

Even among those unfamiliar with country music, the name George Jones likely rings a bell.

Across his half-century career, Jones has spawned 14 No. 1 country hits, earned two Grammys and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Regardless of the genre, Jones is a legend among musicians. And in December, he’ll be coming to Fulton.

Jones will be performing a special benefit concert with his daughter, Georgette Jones, on December 3 at the Itawamba Community College Davis Event Center in Fulton. Tickets for the event are currently on sale and range from $25 to $40.

Touted as the “Tammy Wynette Birthplace Concert,” the event will help raise money for the construction of a memorial in honor of country music legend and Itawamba native Tammy Wynette — Jones’ former wife and Georgette Jones’ mother — in her hometown of Tremont.

The concert will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with some live music, followed by Georgette Jones at 6:15 p.m. George Jones will take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

According to Fulton’s Buster Davis, who helped organize the event, Jones’ local appearance is the culmination of years’ worth of effort.

“[ICC President Dr. David Cole] and I have been working on this for three years and are pleased to finally be able to announce that George Jones is coming to the Davis Event Center,” Davis said.

Will Kollmeyer, ICC Director of Public Relations & Marketing, said the concert represents a real boon for the Itawamba County area and a unique opportunity to see Jones perform with his daughter.

“[Georgette Jones] came forward and said that she wanted to perform during this event,” Kollmeyer said.

In 2007, Georgette recorded a duet with her father, “You And Me And Time,” for his album “Burn the Playhouse Down.” Otherwise, duets between the Joneses are rare.

“I think we’re going to have a really strong turnout because Jones doesn’t perform with his daughter very often,” Kollmeyer said. “This could be one of those once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunities for people in this region to see George Jones perform on stage with his daughter, Georgette.”

George Jones was born in 1931 in the East Texas town of Saratoga. He earned his first hit in 1955 with “Why Baby Why,” and later developed a string of No. 1 hits, including “White Lightning,” “The Grand Tour,” and “I Was Country (When Country Wasn’t Cool).” He also had three No. 1 hits with Wynette: “We’re Gonna Hold On,” “Golden Ring,” and “Near You.”

In 2002, Jones was entered into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The next year, he received the 2002 Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush at a White House ceremony — the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.

The concert is being produced by ICC and the Itawamba County Development Council. Tickets are available at the following locations: Unity Broadcasting in Fulton, Davis Ford Sales, the ICDC, Tremont Town Hall and Itawamba Community College.

Adam Armour can be reached at 862-3141, by e-mailing adam.armour@journalinc.com or by visiting his blog at itawamba360.com.