Sammy Kershaw Talks About…
His New George Jones Tribute Album!
With the greatest country music singer of all time — George Jones — passing, there have been books, movie rumors, and people everywhere, entertainers and fans alike, paying tribute to the one-of-a-kind performer. Luckily for country music fans, there is one entertainer who, with his own unique talents, can channel the greatness of George Jones. That man is an icon in his own right, with hit singles such as “Cadillac Style,” “Yard Sale,” “Anywhere But Here,” and “Don’t Go Near the Water,” just to name a few.
And now, this certified platinum recording artist decided to cut a tribute album titled Do You Know Me? A Tribute to George Jones. The album has a plethora of Jones’s signature smash hits and a song written by Sammy Kershaw himself titled “The Route That I Took,” that George Jones almost cut. The track list is as follows:
1. The Grand Tour
2. Once You’ve Had the Best
3. She Thinks I Still Care
4. Why Baby Why
5. Walk Through This World With Me
6. When The Grass Grows Over Me
7. Window Up Above
8. White Lightning
9. Near You (featuring Georgette Jones)
10. He Stopped Loving Her Today
11. The Race Is On
12. Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes
13. Do You Know Me
14. The Route That I Took
Sammy channels the talent of George so well that if you didn’t see Sammy’s name on the title, you would simply think it was George just cutting his songs again. The album released on July 22 wherever music is sold. If you are a true George Jones fan and miss the sounds, then you’re in luck. This album is a great way to reminisce about the legend of George Jones, and it’s complete with enough of George’s signature moans that it would make a basset hound blush.
What made you decide to do a Jones tribute album?
I did this album because George Jones was my friend for 42 years and I loved him.
And you produced the album as well?
Yes, I did. I have been producing my own albums for the last few years. There is not much to going into producing an album like this really. The songs were already cut by Jones years ago and you don’t change classic records like that. You just go in there and record the way they were recorded in the beginning and you have to leave it like that. You can’t change classics.
Can you discuss the song “Do You Know Me?” and why you picked it as the title track?
The song was written by a couple of friends of mine, Johnny Holland and Billy Lawson, about six months before George Jones died, and one day we were playing and writing together and I had played for them the song I had wrote for George, “The Route That I Took.” George liked the song I wrote and at one time he had almost cut it. I am not sure what happened with that. But anyway, I played it for them. And they said, “Well hey, listen to this [to ‘Do You Know Me?’], something I wrote for him.” When I heard it for the first time and as I listened I just started crying. I mean I was crying like a baby. George should had been able to cut this song, is what I thought to myself. And I told them that I would like to cut the record for George and he said are you serious? I said yes of course this is just too good of a song, and I hear George singing this song, and so I cut it and named it the title track of the album.
Do you think, even as reckless in life as he was, that God kept George Jones on this earth because he meant so much to so many people?
I think a lot of us have been reckless at times. I always talk about how Jones’s life and my life are kind of parallel. I have been reckless a whole lot. I think — and this is how I feel, this is what I know — God has a time for you to come into this world, and God has a time for you to go out of this world. No matter what you do, if it is not your time, it is not your time. And I know that for a fact. I have a book that will hopefully be out by the end of the year, and it will explain a little bit more about what I mean when I say these things. I believe in God, there is only one God, and I believe He is forgiving and when we get to heaven we are all truly brothers and sisters.
Would you ever do another duet album with your ex-wife Lorrie Morgan like George Jones did with Tammy Wynette later in their careers after they were separated?
No. Um, no. We cut an album one time together. But that was awhile back and I have already done that. I would much rather do a #2 tribute album of George Jones. But no I am not interested in doing another duet album with Lorrie.