NASHVILLE, Tenn. - "During the funeral, we mourned George; tonight we celebrate," former
Nashville cats.Early in the show, co-host Charlie Chase announced that 112 artists would appear on the show, which ran longer than four hours: "Talk about wrangling cats!" But not all the acts expected to be on-site all night. "Everybody I've talked to says they're going on early,"
Full to overflowing.After the concert sold out, event organizers arranged to show it via closed-circuit television on the plaza of the Bridgestone Arena. Inside,
The night begins.Big & Rich opened the show, taking the stage in on a pair of John Deere Green riding mowers and singingLove Bug, a 1965 hit. Then John Rich introduced Kid Rock, who sangWhite Lightning. Four hours later, after dozens of acts performed more than 40 songs from Jones' catalog, Alan Jackson closed the show with Jones' signature hit,
Duets.Garth Brooks and
Strait to the point.George Strait thinks he was named after Jones. "Should've been, anyway," said the
Best of the night.Sam & Dave's Sam Moore turnedBlues Maninto a heart-rending serenade to Jones' widow, Nancy Jones, sung from George's perspective, at one point addressing her directly and singing, "I was sinking, Nancy, when you came along." Eric Church gave a solo performance ofChoices, while Josh Turner explored the lower range of Jones' singing style with his version ofOne Woman Man. Vince Gill, who called singing
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