The word "legend" really gets tossed around. In the case of Jones, it really applies. Not since Hank Williams did an artist influence so many other artist.

I remember George Jones before he was famous. Growing up in South East Texas, we all knew who he was since he grew up just across the Neches River from us in Vidor, Texas. George Jones even had a local TV show (briefly) before he was swept off to the land of fame and fortune. It was the first time I could remember someone local becoming famous.

I can also remember that, after he made it big, he had a huge home built in Vidor. Everyone in the area had to drive by and look at it.

The stories that became part of the legend had already started even back then. I remember hearing "She Thinks I still Care" on the radio in Beaumont all the time.

The man went on to have about 150 hits. The stories of his adventures and mis-adventures are too numerous to count.

The important thing now is that, even with all the big changes in country music, there are still hundreds of artist who owe a debt of gratitude to George Jones.

Publicist Kirt Webster says Jones died Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after being hospitalized with fever and irregular blood pressure.