George Jones Passes on Painting


George Jones Photo Courtesy of Bandit Records

March 10, 2008 - As a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, George Jones is a legend in the genre. In fact, when his career was the subject of a panel during last week's Country Radio Seminar, he got not one, but two standing ovations from the broadcasters in attendance.

Music was definitely his calling. Before he made his first recordings in the mid-1950s, the Possum tried a more traditional line of work, as a house painter. He apparently wasn't too good at it, since, he says, he "cleaned too much paint off of my face."

The end to his brush strokes came with an assignment that included a dangerous mixture of paint and altitude.

"They put me on a big scaffold at a gymnasium and told me my first job was to go up to the top of that, which was at the ceiling, and paint it silver all the way down," George recalls. "Well, I got up there and dropped a whole gallon of silver paint on their beautiful gymnasium floor. So enough of that."

That wasn't the only lesson learned from his early work life. George also recalled an album of rock 'n' roll material he recorded under the alias Thumper Jones: "It was terrible. When you get hungry, you'll try anything once."