"He exemplified what pure country music was about"

Apr 26, 2013, 10:18 PM

He was a hard-living, much-married, heavy-drinking good ole boy - but the American singer George Jones, who died today, was to many the champion of traditional country music. He had hit records over five decades from the fifties to the nineties, including duets with his third wife Tammy Wynette. But just what was it about George Jones that did so much for country music? That led Dolly Parton to tweet tonight that her heart is "absolutely broken"? A question Philippa Thomas put to Joe Bonsall of the country and gospel group the Oak Ridge Boys, at home in Hendersonville Tennesse, near Nashville.