Rest in Peace, country legend George Jones.
As Craig Havighurst writes in the introduction of his book Air Castle of the South, Jones was one of the members of Nashville royalty to step up in support of WSM – the radio station that first put the Grand Ole Opry on the air. When executives were planning to flip the format of the country powerhouse to talk and sports in 2002, a protest began on a cold January day.
“More than one hundred citizens waved signs, clapped their mittens, and urged passing motorists to honk in support of traditional country music. ‘Keep country alive!’ they chanted. ‘Keep country alive!’ Singing legend George Jones drove up to voice support from behind the wheel of his SUV.”
Not only was Jones one of the biggest stars to appear on record and in person (performing at the Opry), he grew up listening to his musical heroes such as Roy Acuff on the station.
The protest sparked author Havighurst to write his history of radio station: Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City.