George Jones' back up vocalist remembers the country legend

George Jones' back up vocalist remembers the country legend

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George Jones performed for thousands in a 1999 concert in Union County. George Jones performed for thousands in a 1999 concert in Union County.
Seymour native Curtis Young, sang harmony on many of George Jones' records. Seymour native Curtis Young, sang harmony on many of George Jones' records.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

SEYMOUR (WATE) – For half a century, George Jones put 167 records on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart. Jones, 81, died Friday in Nashville after being hospitalized for a fever and irregular blood pressure.

And for nearly a decade, Seymour native Curtis Young, sang harmony on many of those records.

Since the 1960s, Young has worked with country's biggest stars, from Garth Brooks to George Strait to Tim McGraw. His wall is a who's who of country music. But he'll never forget the day he got a call to sing with the "Possum" himself.

"One day I got a call for George Jones," Young recalls.

In 1989 he did his first studio session with Jones.

"George being the legend he is, you're first a little bit nervous, you just want to do a good job" he said.

Seven albums and 42 songs later, including "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair," he remembers the man that changed country music. 

"He had a unique was of singing," Young said. "The songs that he picked and just his overall sound, people just loved it, there's just magic there

Today Young wears one of his treasured possessions, a shirt from the legend himself.

"We were doing a George and Tammy album, the last one they did, and George had this shirt on and I commented on it and said I liked it. We had another session on Monday and he walked in and handed me the shirt."

A Christmas card from the country legend sits on his desk and an autographed painting brings memories of a night with Jones.

"We talked for I guess a 45 minutes there in the kitchen, his wife Nancy was cooking a big ole pot of beans and I had to taste the beans to make sure they were alright," he remembers with a chuckle. "That's just how down to earth they were."

But while Jones may be gone, his music that will live on.

"The songs that he did he just grabbed you by the heart, I just feel so sad that we've lost him."

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