Local writers collaborate on George Jones tribute tune
The recently recorded song “Dear George” is a tribute to the late George Jones. It is performed by Georgette Jones (Daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette) and Vince Moreno. The lyrics of the song are an arrangement of titles from various past Jones hit recordings. The song was written and arranged by Orange County natives T.A. Collins and Mike Magnuson along with Nashville, Tenn. singer/songwriter Sandy Laird.
When Jones passed away on April 26 of this year, Magnuson remembered a demo he and Collins recorded years before.
Collins was in Honduras, South America at the time of Jones’ death. When Magnuson informed Collins of the passing, they both had the same thought. “Sing Together Again,” the song they recorded, should be rewritten as a tribute to Jones.
“Dear George” was actually written in 1991 by Collins and Laird, according to Magnuson. The original song was written with the idea that Jones and Wynette should sing together again after years of professional separation following their divorce in 1975. The demo recording of “Sing Together Again” was produced in 1991 by Magnuson and Collins in Orange County. Just before its scheduled release, Jones and Wynette did record another song together, thereby nullifying the purpose of the song.
It became a lost dream, relegated to the publishing company archives.
Following Magnuson’s call, Collins cut his Honduras trip short and flew to Houston on Sunday April 28. He drove to Orange, picked up Magnuson and left at 9 p.m. that same evening, driving 750 miles to Nashville. According to Magnuson, they were rewriting the song and planning recording strategies as they drove.
The duo arrived in Nashville the next afternoon.
With the aide of friend, Zack Miller (a Nashville video producer), they began booking studio time and finding vocalists for the session.
It was Tuesday evening before arrangements were finalized for the studio and singers. Everything was ready for an 11 a.m., Wednesday morning session; except, the song rewrite was not complete.
Collins and Magnuson resumed working on the rewrite and at 1 a.m., Wednesday morning, the rewrite was finished and ready for the scheduled 11 a.m. session.
Magnuson stepped up and recorded the demo when the singers hired, didn’t work out as planned.
The demo was sent to a Nashville friend and songwriter, Rick Tiger, who sent the demo to some of his Nashville music contacts. The recording received very positive comments.
Vince Moreno (a George Jones sound alike) liked the song and the idea of the tribute. He agreed to record it.
Tiger asked Moreno if he knew someone who could sing the Tammy parts and he said he did. That person turned out to be, to everyone’s surprise and elation, Georgette Jones.
Collins, Magnuson, Tiger and Dave McAfee (Toby Keith’s drummer) produced the session at 526 Studio in Berry Hill, Tenn.
“Georgette came in and sang the harmony parts with Vince doing a great job singing lead,” said Magnuson.
After listening to the recording, Magnuson and Collins decided that Georgette (being George’s daughter) should sing the lead vocal with Moreno singing the harmony parts.
That revision required arranging another session a few days later, bringing both singers back into the studio for a third recording session. That final recording resulted in the finished product “Dear George.”
Georgette loved the song. She did not want to profit from the recording, as it is a tribute to her father. All principals agreed with Georgette that the song should be offered to George Jones’ fans free of charge for their music collections.
“Dear George” is available as a free download at www.cntmusic.net.
“We Hope you enjoy the song as much as the gang did writing, producing and working with Georgette and the production crew,” said Magnuson.
Country singers Tammy Wynette and George Jones performing at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Oct. 4,1995. “Dear George” is a tribute song performed by the couple’s daughter, Georgette Jones.