By Bob Allen
Backbeat Books, $24.99, 337 pages
George “No Show” Jones was one of the best-loved country singers who ever existed. He was also one of the most obnoxious, unreliable, and unpredictable singers that ever lived. Born into a poverty stricken family, with a religious mother and an alcoholic father, he married four times, most famously to Tammy Wynette. Author Bob Allen takes us through a bumpy ride as George misses gigs, buys endless numbers of new cars, gives many of his possessions away, and buys multiple houses, only to discard them.
Along the way, Jones solidified his position as one of the best-selling country recording artists, with a voice that was truly “solid gold”. Cheated by questionable agents and managers, high on alcohol, cocaine or pills, and discarding women like old shoelaces, it was by Allen’s account a difficult life. Finally quitting his bad habits, and cared for by his fourth wife Nancy, Jones tried to rectify his old lifestyle: in his last decade he accumulated many music awards and found happiness. This book is a movie waiting to happen.
Reviewed by Dick Weissman