George Jones died the same day that the West Coast's most prominent country music festival, Stagecoach, began. And while it would hardly be accurate to say that Jones's passing cast a huge pall over the rowdy, beer-fueled proceedings, a couple of the opening-day performers did attempt to play Possum, as it were.
Toby Keith and his red Solo cup salute George Jones [Christopher Polk/Getty Images]Friday's headliner, Toby Keith, honored Jones's death "at 81 party-ass, no-show years old!"--with his indelicate choice of eulogistic language perhaps influenced by his being "hammered," as he put it. Keith urged the mostly twentysomething festival attendees to spend "24 or 48 hours on your way out of here" compiling their own Jones playlists, and cited "how important he was to our industry, because none of us would be here today if we didn’t have four or five cats like George Jones starting it for us."