Country legend George Jones died Friday at age 81. While his impact on the Nashville scene is well-documented, his influence also extended into the rock world. Here's a look some rock artists who have been inspired by the Possum.
1. Elvis Costello - Jones has been a huge influence on Costello, who called him his favorite country singer back in 1977. Elvis covered George's "A Drunk Can't Be a Man" and "Good Year for the Roses" and got together with George for his 1979 duets album, My Very Special Guests, doing his own "Stranger in My House" alongside Jones. The pair reprised the duet in a few TV appearances.
2. Cake - These Sacramento-spawned alt-rockers might be best known for their 1996 hit "The Distance," and on an import CD single of that song, they covered George's "Multiply the Heartaches" as a bonus track. It later turned up on the band's 2007 album, B-Sides and Rarities.
3. The Proclaimers, Keith Richards - Scottish brothers Craig and Charlie Reid are best known for their goofy but infections 1988 song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," which became a hit in 1993 after it was featured in the film Benny & Joon. Back on their 1987 album This is the Story, they covered the Lester Blackwell-penned song "(I'm Gonna) Burn Your Playhouse Down," which was recorded by George first in the '60s. In 2008, Burning Your Playhouse Down: The Unreleased Duets unearthed a version of the song that George recorded with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards with the shortened title "Burn Your Playhouse Down."
4. The Grateful Dead, Dave Edmunds - Country music was a major influence on the Grateful Dead, and on the Dead's 1981 live album, Reckoning, they tipped their hats to George with a cover of his 1965 song "The Race is On." Strangely, the Dead's version, with Bob Weir on lead vocals, is a bit more laid-back than George's energetic original. Former Rockpile member Dave Edmunds also did a swinging version of the song in 1981, backed by the Stray Cats, whom Edmunds produced.
5. Jason & The Scorchers - On a similar note, Jason & The Scorchers hailed from Nashville and were actually once-called Jason & The Nashville Scorchers, but they're more rockers than country folk. Jason and the boys did George right with their 1995 raucous cover of his "Why Baby Why." RIP Possum.
- Arts & Entertainment
- George Jones
- Elvis Costello