He served in the United States Marine Corps and was discharged in 1953. In 1959, Jones released a cover version of "White Lightning" by J. Many years of alcoholism caused his health to deteriorate severely and led to his missing many performances, earning him the nickname "No Show Jones." After his divorce from Wynette in 1975, Jones married his fourth wife, Nancy Sepulvado, in 1983 and became mostly sober.Jones died in 2013, aged 81, from hypoxic respiratory failure.We recorded in a small living room of a house on a highway near Beaumont. We had to stop a lot of times because it wasn't soundproof, it was just egg crates nailed on the wall and the big old semi trucks would go by and make a lot of noise and we'd have to start over again." Jones' first hit came with "Why Baby Why" in 1955.
He was stationed in San Jose, California for his entire service. His first record, the self-penned "No Money in This Deal", was recorded on January 19, and appeared in February on Starday Records, beginning the singer's association with producer and mentor H. Jones also worked at KTRM (now KZZB) in Beaumont around this time.
Deejay Gordon Baxter told Nick Tosches that Jones acquired the nickname "possum" while working there: "One of the deejays there, Slim Watts, took to calling him George P. For one thing, he cut his hair short, like a possum's belly.
In the book George Jones: The Life and Times of a Honky Tonk Legend, Bob Allen recounts how George Sr.
would return home in the middle of the night with his cronies roaring drunk, wake up a terrified George Jr., and demand that he sing for them or face a beating.
'He knows it’s going to make me feel that I’m tethered to something in this business that we're in.