George Jones first started playing the guitar when he was nine.
According to Biography.com, Jones had seven siblings, and his father was an alcoholic. Jones grew up listening to programs from the Grand Ole Opry on the radio. His father bought him his first guitar when he was nine. He sent Jones to play on the streets to earn money. As a teenager, he found early success playing in dive-bars before leaving his hometown.
While working at a radio station, Jones met his idol Hank Williams. Williams stopped by the station to record a performance. Later in life, Jones performed a duet with the singer’s son, Hank Williams Jr., on “I Don’t Care If Tomorrow Never Comes.”
In 1950, Jones married his first wife Dorothy Bonvillion. The singer married four times over his life. Jones had issues with alcohol and substance abuse, which complicated his relationships with women.
Jones’ first big hit came after a four year stint in the U.S. Marines. His first hit “Why Baby Why” made it to No. 4 on the country music charts. At the end of the 1950s, Jones released his first No. 1 single called “White Lightning.” The song proved popular with both country and pop fans alike.
In the 1960s, Jones became one of America’s most celebrated country singers. He released several hit songs during this decade such as “Tender Years,” “The Race is On” and “She Thinks I Still Care.”