Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the George Jones Playin’ Possum – The Final No Show LIVE Blog. Since tonight’s festivities will not be televised, we’re going to try to do our best to make folks that could not be in attendance for this historic event feel a part of it by providing a place to listen along, share thoughts, and hopefully post pictures as they come in from attendees. Over 100 performers are scheduled to make an appearance. So get your refresh fingers ready and please feel free to chime in below in the comments section.
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11/23 12:30 PM: Here’s some bootleg video from last night. Good, multi-camera quality for final Alan Jackson song, Martina McBride & George Strait right before the finale, and though there’s a few Gremlins in the audio, you can catch the vibe of the Jamey Johnson / Megadeth song. You can also see Big & Rich on their riding lawnmowers singing “Love Bug,” and Jamey Johnson singing “Tennessee Whiskey.”
11:32 - Thanks everyone for stopping by! Thanks to the George Jones Twitter Page, Country Weekly, and other random attendees for the pictures! Thanks to The Tennessean, and other folks on the scene for filling us in on all the songs and performers and other information. Make sure you also check out the Tennessean’s Live Blog for more coverage, and their photo gallery of the event (apparently, Big & Rich did their song on riding lawnmowers).
And remember, music always sounds better when it’s shared!
11:30 - From The Tennessean about the end of the concert:
A tribute concert to George Jones would not be complete without “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Alan Jackson does the honors.
Then he invites Nancy Jones on stage and invites the audience to sing along.
“This is the greatest country song by the greatest country singer, Mr. George Jones,” Jackson says, as he again launches into the chorus of “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
“Thank you all so much,” he says, “George we love you.”
Leaving the stage, his arm around Nancy Jones’ waist, he stops to set the rocking chair on stage in motion. As the chair meant for Jones rocks slowly back and forth, the crowd claps and cheers begging for more.
But it is, indeed, the end.
George Jones’ tribute is complete.
The audience has made it clear that, like his chair, it truly rocked.
11:26 - Apparently the whole arena was singing along to “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” led by Alan Jackson.
11:24 - Well folks, that may be all she wrote. 4 hours! We’ll do one last scan for some cool pictures, quotes, or info we missed!
11:19 - Let’s see if we have people come on stage for a finale.
11:18 - And of course, as it should be, Alan Jackson comes out to close the show out by performing “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
11:15 - Apparently Reba lost her voice, and was unable to perform. As you can see from the lineup picture below, she was sceduled to play before George Strait. Here’s Reba’s post from Instagram.
11:12 - So about the joke Bill Anderson told earlier, and the performance afterwards, here’s the account from The Tennessean:
Tied up on Old Hickory Lake boats owned by Anderson, Jones, record producer Billy Sherrill and others. Jones’ was the only one that had a small dinghy boat tied to the back.
One day, Anderson said, he was trying to dock his boat and the wind blew his boat into Jones’.
From that day on he was known as “the man who put the dent in George Jones’ dinghy,” Anderson said with a laugh.
After groans and chuckles, Anderson is joined on stage for another historical group number with Bobby Bare, Jim Ed Brown, Jimmy C. Newman, John Conlee, Larry Gatlin, Ray Stevens, and Stonewall Jackson. Pioneers who paved the way for so many, the group sings “When the Last Curtain Falls,” and “Still Doin’ Time.”
The boys still clearly have a few good jokes in them. “I fell down but I’m good,” Jackson said from his seat on the stage, before their final number “Some Day My Day Will Come.”
11:09 – Martina McBride joins George Strait on stage to sing “Golden Ring.”
11:05 – Reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year George Strait takes the stage to sing “The Grand Tour.”
11:01 - Suzy Bogguss and Miranda Lambert backstage. SEE PICTURE
11:00 - Vince Gill takes the stage to perform “Slipping Away.”
10:56 - Dierks Bentley apparently called tonight the Country Music Awards meets the Field of Dreams.
10:52 - Patty Loveless takes the stage to sing “Blue Must Be The Color of the Blues.” No picture of Jessi and Shooter yet, I’m not being bias . The biggest names of the tribute are coming up!
10:48 - Mike Huckabee has the coolest quote of the night so far: “You’re going to remember where you were Nov. 22, 1963.” Because you were at the George Jones tribute. Yep, 1963.”
10:45 - We’ll try to get the names of the others who joined Thompson Square. Meanwhile Shooter Jennings has taken the stage.
10:42 - Thompson Square & others play “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”
10:40 - Former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee introduces Thompson Square to the stage.
10:37 - Another interesting quote from Dave Mustaine of Megadeth: “Heavy metal is all about rebellion and George was definitely a rebel. Thank you for welcoming us into this beautiful family.”
10:33 - Stacy McCloud who is the entertainment reporter for Nashville’s Fox 17 is the new emcee. According to the Tennessean, she was the last reporter to interview Jones. “I will never forget he walked out and said, ‘Hey there, young lady. I think I’ve been dreaming about you.’”
10:32 - Montgomery Gentry takes the stage to do “The Race Is On.”
10:26 - Rodney Atkins has taken the stage.
10:22 - “Country music transcends barriers, it has come into my world and so many other worlds.” – Dave Mustaine
10: 19 - Jamey Johnson leaves Megadeth backstage to trash the dressing room, and performs a solo acoustic performance of “Tennessee Whiskey.”
10:14 - By the way, the Jamey Johnson / Megadeth collaboration was on “Wild Irish Rose.”
10:11 - Bill Anderson on stage right now telling a “funny story.” (Wish we could hear it!) SEE PICTURE
10:09 - Cool picture of Charlie Daniels warming up backstage during Act 1.
10:07 - Jim Lauderdale & The Roys playing “Why Baby Why” on stage right now. SEE PICTURE
10:03 - Jamey Johnson. Megadeth. George Jones. Rawk.
10:01 - Cool Picture of Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert from earlier. Working on getting a Megadeth / Johnson photo.
9:59 - Social network channels exploding with disbelief as Megadeth takes the George Jones tribute stage with Jamey Johnson. But remember, for better or worse, Dave Mustaine recently put out a “bluegrass” song.
9:53 - Travis Tritt delivers an “incredible” performance of “Closing Of The Door” to open the 2nd act. Brad Paisley on stage now playing “Corvette Song.” SEE PICTURE.
9:48 - According to George’s wife Nancy, he knew he would not make this tribute that was originally scheduled to be the final show of his final tour. “I said, ‘Why are you agreeing to everything?’ ” Nancy Jones remembers. “He said, ‘’Cause I’m not going to be here. I’m going to agree to anything they ask. Promise me you’ll make a tribute show out of it, and I’ll see it from heaven.’ ”
9:44 - The emcee for Act 2 has changed from Ralph Emery to Keith Bilbrey, the weatherman on the Ralph Emery show for 21 years.
9:39 - As you can see from the list below, we missed bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent playing with Baillie & The Boys. But unlike the list, we remembered the additional ‘I’ in Baillie. Megadeth with Jamey Johnson should be quite entertaining.
9:35 - From The Tennessean: “Wow what a show,” Ralph Emery says. “Back stage we’ve got a movie star and we’ve got a former governor, and we have all kinds of entertainment here as we salute George Jones.”
9:28 - Well look what I found. Apparently Act 2 is about to commence. From Little Rebellion’s Music Photos on Facebook.
9:21 - Apparently there is a short intermission going on right now, and more music is coming up in mere moments. Here is Little Jimmy Dickens sitting in the George Jones rocking chair from Country Weekly’s Twitter feed.
9:17 - It’s not much to look at, but you can hear the tribute in the background, and see the scene on lower broadway from the Tootsies Orchid Lounge Live webcam.
9:14 - Apparently Little Jimmy Dickens has made an appearance on stage to sit in the empty George Jones rocker. He’s about the only one who could pull off such shenanigans.
9:10 - Also part of the Tracy Lawrence, Suzy Bogguss, Colin Ray, T Graham Brown, and TG Sheppard group from earlier was Jett Williams. THey performed the songs “The Love in Your Eyes” and “Wine Colored Roses.”
9:05 - Craig Morgan plays the deep George Jones cut “Finally Friday,” and then hops off the stage to hug Nancy Jones afterwards.
9:02 - Josh Turner now on stage singing “One Woman Man.” Picture of Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert.
8:59 - Power couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton now on stage singing “These Days I Barely Get By.”
8:55 - People watching the tribute show outside of the Bridgestone Arena. It is also being broadcast at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge down the street.
8:54 - Our second group of the night is now on the stage, made up of Tracy Lawrence, Suzy Bogguss, Colin Ray, T Graham Brown, and TG Sheppard.
8:52 - There are also emcees as part of the event that are working in shifts. The first was Larry Black. Right now it is Ralph Emery.
8:46 - Gatlin sang “Good Year For Roses.”
8:45 - Larry Gatlin on stage now!
8:41 - Dierks Bentley singing “Always Get Lucky With You.” Now the Oak Ridge Boys are on stage singing “Same Ole Me.”
8:38 - There is a lot of buzz about Eric Church’s cover of “Choices” as well. Dierks Bentley on stage now.
8:37 - More on the Sam Moore rendition of “The Blues Man” from The Tennessean: “The crowd clearly connected with this performance, throwing up cheers mid-performance. It is easily the most emotion-filled of the night so far.”
Sam Moore received a standing ovation.
8:35 - Well we know there will be video for this for the future, because they are broadcasting the event outside of the Bridgestone Arena on big screens, and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge right done the street is also broadcasting it.
8:32 - Tommy Shaw of Styx is now on stage performing “She Thinks I Still Care.”
8:28 - Eric Church on stage now playing “Choices.” Here is Kathy Mattea performing “I’m A Long Gone Daddy.”
8:25 - Kathy Mattea played “I’m A Long Gone Daddy.” Up on stage right now is Clay Walker playing “Things Have Gone To Pieces.” For those of you counting, that is the 13th performance tonight in under and hour!
8:21 - Kathy Mattea on stage now!
8:18 - Sam Moore is on stage right now singing “Blues Man,” and from the web chatter from the stadium, it is a stirring, heartfelt performance, one of the best of the night so far. SEE PICTURE
8:15 - The Kentucky Headhunters keeping it classy and playing “High Tech Redneck.”
8:12 - Baillie and the Boys on stage right now singing “I’m Ragged But I’m Right.”
8:10 - For those of you wondering who all was in the “Ladies of Country Music,” it was Leona Williams, Emmylou Harris, Jan Howard, Jeanne Pruett, Janie Fricke, and Jeannie Seely. They sang “I Am What I Am,” “Tender Years,” and “I’m Not Ready Yet.”
8:07 - With 112 performers and how quickly they are going to have to run through them, I hope there is time to make each performance count. It’s great to see so many legendary faces, but nothing beats that one special moment music can bring to a tribute. And someone better be recording.
8:03 - Charlie Daniels playing “Me & Jesus.”
8:02 - Lee Ann Womack just played “Once You Had The Best,” and Charlie Daniels is now on stage!
7:57 - Big & Rich opened with “Love Bug.” Garth and Trisha sang “Take Me,” and the Ladies of Country sang “If My Heart Had Windows.”
7:54 - On stage moments ago “The Ladies of Country Music” with Emmylou Harris singing.
7:51 – Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood on Stage. SEE PICTURE
7:48 - So it’s not looking good for even an audio feed of tonight’s event folks! We’ll do our best to try and make you feel a part of it nonetheless!
7:46 - Big & Rich were the opening act for the tribute, and now Kid Rock is singing “White Lightning.”
7:44 - George Jones’ rocking chair on stage:
7:40 - Nancy Jones in her seat, ready to take in in the tribute.
7:38 - Word is Megadeth. Yes, Megadeth is on site and will be performing tonight.
7:32 - Folks, on the WSM website, it says they are broadcasting the NO Show tribute, but right now I’m listening to the Friday night Opry. We’ll keep monitoring and see if we can at least find an audio feed.
7:30 - They have George Jones’ rocking chair set up on stage so he can be there in spirit for this historic concert. SEE PICTURE
7:29 - Here is what the inside of Bridgestone Arena looks like for the tribute. SEE PICTURE
7:28 – Folks filing into the Bridgestone Arena. Photo by Colby Peel on Twitter.
7:24 - The fact that tonight’s show is not being televised has been a source of much talk. It is not out of the question that it will be televised in the future, and certainly camera will be there. George’s widow Nancy Jones has said she wishes that every George Jones fan could participate. The event was sold out months ago, and was originally supposed to be a part of George’s final tour. They have set up screens outside of the Bridgestone Arena so fans can watch along. They also made an additional 500 tickets available at the box office last minute.
7:20 - The list of performers has swelled to 112 at last count, including some “surprises”. Here is the latest list we can tally:
Alabama, Alan Jackson, Baillie & the Boys, Big & Rich, Bill Anderson, Blake Shelton, Bobby Bare, Brad Paisley, Brenda Lee, Chad Warrix (Halfway to Hazzard), Charlie Daniels, Collin Raye, Craig Morgan, Dailey & Vincent, Daryle Singletary, Dierks Bentley, Eddy Raven, Emmylou Harris, Eric Church, Eric Lee Beddingfield, Gary Morris, George Strait, Greg Bates, Gretchen Wilson, Jamey Johnson, Janie Fricke, Jeanne Pruett, Jeannie Seely, Jessi Colter, Jett Williams, Jim Ed Brown, Jim Lauderdale, Jimmy C. Newman, Jimmy Wayne, John Conlee, John Michael Montgomery, Josh Turner, Kathy Mattea, Kentucky Headhunters, Kid Rock, Larry Gatlin, Lee Ann Womack, Lee Greenwood, Leona Williams, Lisa Matassa, Little Jimmy Dickens, Lorrie Morgan, Lynn Anderson, Mandy Barnett, Mark Collie, Martina McBride, Megadeth, Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, The Oak Ridge Boys, Pam Tillis, Patty Loveless, Ray Stevens, Reba McEntire, Rodney Atkins, Ronnie McDowell, The Roys, Sam Moore, Shooter Jennings, Stonewall Jackson, Suzy Bogguss, T. Graham Brown, Tanya Tucker, Teea Goans, TG Sheppard, Thompson Square, Tracy Lawrence, Travis Tritt, and Vince Gill.