Growing up to a famous dad must have been quite an experience for George Jones’ children. Despite being a country music royalty and his highly publicized battle with drugs and alcohol, Jones was a loving father.
Let’s get to know George Jones’ kids below, and let’s find out who among the four followed his footsteps.
Susan Jones Smith
In 1950, George Jones married his first wife, Dorothy Bonvillion. The couple had a daughter, Susan Jones Smith. But Jones and Bonvillion’s union was short-lived that they divorced even before Susan turned one.
Susan shied away from the spotlight. She is now living a quiet and happy life with her husband, Harmon Smith. They have two children, Jennifer and Michael, and two grandchildren, twins Laura and Jason. Susan’s family lives nearby Jones’. “The kids come over and see us all the time,” Jones said.
In George Jones’ 1992 interview with People, the country legend said that he’s proud of Susan. And it seems like he was too with his great-grandchildren. In 2017, Jones’ official Facebook page shared a photo of Susan and the rest of her family. He wrote in the caption: “Susan, your daddy would be so proud of his great-grandchildren!”
Bryan and Jeffrey Jones
In 1954, George Jones married Shirley Ann Corley, with whom he had two sons, Bryan and Jeffrey. Jones’ two sons have strayed far from their father’s music career path. Jeffery Jones owns a flooring business in Vidor, Texas, while Bryan Jones sells auto parts in Huntsville, also in Texas.
In 2013, Bryan and Jeffrey joined the oldest, most loyal fans of George Jones as they packed the small hall for a Southeast Texas Tribute to the country legend. It was organized by the venue’s owner and a group of musicians and friends of the late Jones.
“I think he would be proud that people remembered him for the down-to-earth person that he was,” Bryan Jones said.
Unfortunately, George Jones had a fall out with his two sons in 1995. Bryan and Jeffrey said the country legend had wronged them by denying them profits from some of his hits, which ended up in a federal lawsuit.
The two sons claimed that their father, along with Broadcast Music Inc., refused to honor the terms of his divorce agreement with their mother in 1968. The agreement called for Shirley Ann Corley to receive half the rights to all songs written by George Jones and published or controlled by BMI before 1968.
When Corley died in 1991, the royalty payments stopped in 1992 and were reverted to Jones. The lawsuit said Corley bestowed her share to her sons. Jones sadly admits he failed as a father to his two sons. “That’s one of the things I really missed out on in life. On the road so much, you don’t get to know them.”
But all’s well that ends well, Bryan said he had accepted the demands that came from his famous father’s “music life.” He said, “George Jones was sent here to do country music, and he knew it.”
Tamala Georgette Jones
In 1969, Jones married country queen Tammy Wynette, with whom he later recorded several top hits. The power couple had a daughter, Tamala Georgette Jones, the youngest of George Jones’ children. However, Jones and Wynette’s marriage was turbulent and led to a painful split in 1975. Georgette Jones was only four then.
The day Georgette Jones was born, Billy Sherrill was ready with a signed record contract. Billy, who was recognized as one of the best producers in the business, sent the new mom a dozen roses along with a signed contract for the baby. Take note, a signed contract! After all, her parents were considered country music royalty.
Billy was definitely betting on the future. And just how did the future play out? Guess the American record producer got that one right. Out of all her siblings, Georgette is the only one who followed in her parents’ footsteps.
She is not only a very talented singer and songwriter, with a pure voice reminiscent of her mother, but she also chose Country as her primary genre. She admitted that music was not her initial career choice, even though she had been singing with her parents since she was only three. Instead, Georgette worked as a registered nurse for 17 years.
The first reason she chose to be out of the music industry was her children. Georgette knew that it would be difficult for her and her children, especially when she starts touring. So she waited for them to turn 16 years old.
As for the second reason, Georgette confessed it was actually the fear she felt. She didn’t want to be compared with her parents musically speaking. Luckily, that thought doesn’t bother her anymore, and nowadays, she is confident enough to pursue a career in music.
In 2011, Georgette also released a book, “The Three of Us, Growing Up Tammy and George,” where she detailed her dealings with the blessing and the curse of being born to famous parents. In this memoir, Georgette recounts her parents’ divorce and Wynette’s fall into prescription pill addiction and ill-timed death at the age of 55. Georgette also wrote about her broken relationship with her father and what it took for them to come back together.
As Georgette developed as an artist, she made peace with her past and reunited with her troubled, often absent father before he died. They recorded “You, Me and Time,” a song Georgette wrote in his honor.
At the moment, Georgette, who is now 50, is still active in her music career, performing in clubs and pubs. She is using her social media accounts to promote her shows and announce the status of her upcoming album.
Although fame and fortune brought trouble to the country legend along with the good things it brought, George Jones’ children still think he was “a loving family man.”