NANCY JONES PRESENTS FUNDRAISING CHECK TO HUNTSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Pictured L-R: Mike Vojticek, Von Braun Center Assistant Director; Kirk Giles, Huntsville Police Chief; Josh Bleidt, Concerts 4 A Cause; Nancy Jones; Randy Sutton, The Wounded Blue; Tommy Battle, Huntsville Mayor; Steve Maples, Von Braun Center Executive Director.
Photo by Jeremy Westby / 2911 Media
Nancy Jones, widow of the late George Jones, in partnership with Concerts 4 A Cause, The Wounded Blue, and the Von Braun Center (VBC) presented a fundraising check on Wednesday, July 19, to benefit the family of Officer Garrett Crumby following his death and Officer Albert Morin who was critically injured in a shooting on Tuesday, March 28.
Upon hearing of the shooting, Jones immediately wanted to utilize the high-profile tribute concert, Still Playin' Possum: Music & Memories of George Jones, planned for April 25, 2023, to honor her late husband and her connections within the music industry to raise money in support of both officers and their families. Guitars autographed by Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins, Wynonna, Dierks Bentley, The Oak Ridge Boys, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, Jelly Roll, and many others were sold through the fundraiser. Additionally, a pair of front-row tickets to the concert were auctioned off with support provided by 93.3 NASH Icon.
"I am beyond thankful for the friendships I have with so many artists who agreed to sign guitars to help raise this money," said Nancy Jones. "Everyone did their part and we did the right thing here. I hope this money will help these families not have to worry about some of the day-to-day bills that put a burden on you when you are dealing with health and tragic situations."
Police Chief Kirk Giles accepted the fundraiser proceeds of more than $80,000 on behalf of Officer Albert Morin and fallen Officer Garrett Crumby’s family.
“The outpouring of love from our community was overwhelming following the death of Officer Garrett Crumby and the critical wounding of Officer Albert Morin.” Chief Kirk Giles said. “Thank you to Nancy Jones, the artists, these organizations, and everyone who donated to support Officer Crumby’s family and Officer Morin following this tragic shooting.”
Jones connected with Concerts 4 A Cause, a non-profit that works to bring hope and inspiration through music, to help facilitate the fundraiser.
"Concerts 4 A Cause was established to do this very thing," said Josh Bleidt, Concerts 4 A Cause Founder. "We raise money and help those in need through music events and the artists' giving hearts. We pulled this guitar promotion together within 48 hours with just an idea and it worked. Today, we are helping two families of law enforcement. Tomorrow it may be a veteran or a child. We are happy we can do our part by bringing some financial relief to these families."
To help spread the word nationally about the fundraiser, Jones contacted The Wounded Blue, whose mission is to improve the lives of injured and disabled law enforcement officers.
"The Wounded Blue is proud to have played a role in the amazing Country Music event that raised funds for the family of Huntsville Police Officer Garrett Crumby’s family who was tragically gunned down and for Officer Albert Morin who was also shot and critically injured," said Randy Sutton, The Wounded Blue Founder and Chairman. "The kindness and compassion shown by Nancy Jones in her quest to help these families shall be honored by the entire law enforcement community."
The Still Playin' Possum: Music & Memories of George Jones concert brought many exceptional artists together for an amazing night celebrating country music.
"We knew an event of this caliber would be very successful - not just for the VBC, but for the entire City of Huntsville and North Alabama - because it would attract thousands of people to our community who love listening to music by the great George Jones," said Steve Maples, Von Braun Center Executive Director. "This sold-out concert was one of the top five highest-grossing events ever held in the VBC’s 48-year history and had an estimated economic impact of over $1.2 million; however, the amazing generosity of Nancy and her team to our local law enforcement is what will make this one of the most legendary events to be held in Huntsville."
About George Jones: George Jones is regarded among the most important and influential singers in American popular music history. He was the singer of enduring country music hits including “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Grand Tour,” “Walk Through This World With Me,” “Tender Years” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” the latter of which is often at the top of industry lists of the greatest country music singles of all time. Born in Saratoga, Texas, Jones played on the streets of Beaumont for tips as a teenager. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps before returning to Texas and recording for the Starday label in Houston, Texas. In 1955, his “Why Baby Why” became his first Top 10 country single, peaking at number four and beginning a remarkable commercial string: Jones would ultimately record more than 160 charting singles, more than any other artist in any format in the history of popular music. His first number-one hit came in 1959 with “White Lightning,” a Mercury Records single that topped the Billboard country charts for five weeks. He moved on to United Artists and then to Musicor, notching hits including “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Race Is On,” “A Good Year for the Roses” and “Walk Through This World With Me.”
Jones signed with Epic Records in 1971 and worked with producer Billy Sherrill to craft a sound at once elegant and rooted, scoring with “The Grand Tour,” “Bartenders Blues” and many more. Sherrill also produced duets between Jones and his then-wife Tammy Wynette, and in the 1970s they scored top-charting hits including “We’re Gonna Hold On,” “Golden Ring” and “Near You.” By the time “Golden Ring” and “Near You” hit in 1976, Jones and Wynette were divorced, and Jones was battling personal demons. His solo career cooled until 1980 when he recorded “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” a ballad penned by Curly Putman and Bobby Braddock that helped Jones win Country Music Association prizes for best male vocal and top single. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” revived a flagging career, and Jones won the CMA’s top male vocalist award in 1980 and 1981. He also earned a Grammy for best male country vocal performance. He signed with MCA Records in 1990 and began a successful run, and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. His guest vocal on Patty Loveless’ “You Don’t Seem To Miss Me” won a CMA award for top vocal event in 1998, and it became his final Top 20 country hit.