BRISTOL, Tenn. and Va. - Country music legend George Jones has died in Nashville after a short illness.
He was nicknamed The Possum and No Show, because during his heavy drinking days he failed to appear at concerts. News 5 caught up with some locals and learned that wasn't always the case in Bristol.
Newspaper clippings on the wall are memories of every visit country superstar George Jones made here at Viking Hall. Jones is known for classic country hits like 'He Stopped Loving Her Today.' "When I heard that he had passed, in my head I really thought 'he stopped loving her today,'" said Darlene Cole, venues manager at Viking Hall.
Jones was a very familiar face here in the Birthplace of Country Music. "His first year here was in 1982. His tickets were $8.50 and $9.50," added Cole.
Better known as 'No Show Jones,' Bristol seemed to be the exception to the rule. "The 20-odd number of events that he played, he was never a No Show Possum to us," said Cole.
His music still hits the airwaves; over at WXBQ phone lines are busy with fans sharing memories and requesting their favorite songs. "It's hard to believe he's gone but we're expecting a good tribute tonight," said DJ Marcus Brooks.
Even though Jones has gone away, no one will forget or stop loving the poetic musician. "The last time he played Viking Hall I got to have a little chit-chat with him and his wife. It was a quick interaction but at least I can say in my career that I did get to meet the legend, the Possum," added DJ Marc Tragler.
George Jones was 81 years old.