A biography of the recently passed George Jones, who the New York Times called "the definitive country singer of the last half century" (and who was a major influence on everyone from Bob Dylan and John Fogerty to Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks), looking at his wild life, alcoholism and drug use and turbulent marriages-most famously to Tammy Wynette-as well as his legendary music and career. From the veteran music journalist and country historian Rich Kienzle comes a major work in the tradition of Robert Hilburn's bestselling Johnny Cash: The Life. Kienzle has conducted literally hundreds of interviews and doing extensive research to take the full measure of Jones's life (which spanned nine decades!) in a way no reporter has before, to bring forth a fresh, new understanding of this enormously talented yet tragically tormented icon. From Jones's boozy hell-raising, pill-popping, and cocaine use to his reputation for womanizing and his highly volatile and dysfunctional marriages (three of them), he was often considered "the Keith Richards of country" and his life was one of deep pain-which he channeled into beautifully raw songs that packed the emotional wallop of the greatest blues singers. In his darkest times, his anguish bordered on schizophrenia, with him spending time in a psychiatric hospital and often talking to himself and arguing with a Donald Duck-voiced alter ego which he named "Deedoodle." An authoratative look at a country legend.