New Baby for Christmas, by George Jones (1964)
George Jones (right) reviews a painting his wife commissioned of his famous DWI arrest while driving a riding lawnmower to the liquor store.
On the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination last month, some 112 artists gathered with thousands of fans at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena for what co-host Charlie Chase called "the largest tribute event in music history" in honor of the late country music legend George Jones. Jones' facial features led him to be nicknamed "The Possum," and his long battle with alcoholism caused him to miss more than a few gigs over the years, so last month's show was aptly christened "Playin' Possum: The Final No Show," and it seems to have been a night to remember. As former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee remarked from the stage, "You're all going to remember where you were on November 22, 1963." That's a different issue, of course, but everybody knew what he meant. Jones, who died on April 26 at the age of 81, had his first #1 country hit in 1959 with the song "White Lightnin'," and despite a good number of ups and downs, he went on to top the country chart with 13 additional songs and remained a vital presence in country music throughout his life. "New Baby for Christmas" is one of about a dozen Christmas songs Jones recorded over the years, although I don't believe he released a holiday album until this year's Classic Christmas Album, which consists of songs previously recorded with his ex-wife, Tammy Wynette. "New Baby for Christmas" appears in its original form on the Classic Christmas Album, and it's a great little tune from an extremely talented man who epitomized the hard-living, hard-working country musician.
Hear George Jones and Tammy Wynette Sing "Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus"
Hear George Jones Sing "Lonely Christmas Call"
Read About How George Was Arrested for Riding a Lawnmower to the Liquor Store
O Christmas Tree, by James Gandolfini and Ben Affleck (2004)
|Gandolfini (left) and Affleck|