George Jones’ Public Funeral Draws Republican Leadership, Country Music All-Stars
Former First Lady Laura Bush, Mike Huckabee to attend May 2 service at Tennessee's Grand Ole Opry
The memorial ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 2 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, and feature remarks from former First Lady Laura Bush, Kenny Chesney, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, singer Barbara Mandrell, CBS News’ Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer, Grand Ole Opry VP and GM Pete Fisher, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
The upcoming service will also feature live musical performances from Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill and Patty Loveless, Kid Rock, the Oak Ridge Boys, Ronnie Milsap, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, and Wynonna.
“The caliber of speakers and performers is a testament to what George Jones meant to everyone in the world,” Jones’ publicist, Kirt Webster, said in a statement. “[Jones’ wife of 30 years] Nancy is overwhelmed by the love and support of not only George’s fans, but also the music community, public figures and friends.”
Jones’ public service will begin at 10 a.m. CT. National television networks CMT, GAC, RFD, and FamilyNet will broadcast the event live, as will several local Nashville stations. Fans not near a TV can listen on the radio via WSM 650AM or SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse on Ch. 56; the ceremony can also be heard on WSMOnline.com and seen on Opry.com.
A private visitation for “family, friends, and fellow performers” will take place today, May 1 (via Rolling Stone). In lieu of flowers, the country icon’s family is asking that donations be made to the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund or to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Jones passed away last week at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center after suffering from blood pressure problems and fever. For a look back on Jones’ hugely influential career, check out George Jones, R.I.P.: The Legacy of Country’s Greatest Voice in 15 Tracks.