April 6, 2013 is poignant day in country music history, though its one that few people recognize.
On that day, George Jones travelled to Knoxville, Tennessee to perform a concert at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. Raspy and labored, the 81-year-old legend had to sit at times throughout the show, but he got through it. When it came time to end the show, George chose the only song that could appropriately close a George Jones show — the iconic “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
While it was something that he had done literally thousands of times in his career, there was no way of knowing that this would be his last.
George Jones died just two weeks later.
At the time, George was trying to get through his farewell tour, dubbed The Grand Tour, which was a 60-date, year-long trek that he announced in late 2012. The plan was to finish things up in November at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville with dozens of country music superstars from today and days gone by.
After George passed, that show went from a farewell show to a tribute show with all the stars that were slated to perform with him instead performing to honor him.