Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Humor plentiful at Jones funeral
For a guy who sang so many sad songs, George Jones left behind a lot of laughs.
There was more humor than sadness at Jones' funeral Thursday at the Grand Ole Opry House as thousands gathered in Nashville -- some arriving hours before sunrise -- to pay their respects to the man whose voice has defined country music for more than half a century.
Friend after friend related stories of Jones' kindness, his love for his widow, Nancy, who's credited with helping him survive his personal demons later in life, and the funny little moments that will stick with them always.
Barbara Mandrell remembered the kindnesses he gave a scared 13-year-old girl just getting her start in the business.
Former first lady Laura Bush remembered dumping quarter after quarter into the jukebox to hear "The Race Is On."
Wynonna Judd remembered his perfect hair and his friendship.
And Vince Gill remembered the man who gave him the nickname "Sweet Pea," a moniker he wasn't sure he liked at first but now treasures.
"The great thing is every time someone calls me Sweet Pea, I'll get to think about him," Gill said before earning a standing ovation for his rendition of "Go Rest High on That Mountain" with Patty Loveless.
Deadheads are uniting in opposition to a proposal to rename a San Francisco venue named in honor of the Grateful Dead founder.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports more than 1,100 people have signed an online petition opposing any name change to Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in Excelsior, near where the late guitarist grew up.
The Recreation and Park Department said the little-used stage would gain new life under a public-private partnership with Los Angeles-based nonprofit Levitt Pavilions, which helps fund renovations for outdoor venues and puts on 50 free shows a year.
The proposed name is Levitt Pavilion San Francisco at Jerry Garcia Meadows.
Critics say handing it over to Levitt would rob the venue of its independent spirit.