On this day in 1983, country music icon George Jones married the woman he referred to as the love of his life, Nancy Sepulveda.
What some fans may not know, is that their romance didn’t start off as sweet; In fact, Nancy was by no means a fan of Jones’ music. At the time, she was friends with the significant other of Jones’ tour manager and was dragged along to watch him perform. She recalls falling in love while watching him perform on stage.
“My God, he walked on stage, and the crowd goes wild… and that voice. I thought, ‘How is that coming out of that man’s mouth? Dang, he’s good,’” Nancy once shared with The Tennessean.
The shift in her caused excitement to greet the musician backstage after his set, where he charmed his way into her heart. She was reluctant, as she knew about his three failed marriages and life-altering drug and alcohol problems, but took a chance on him, nonetheless. The two later married in Woodville, Texas at George’s sisters’ house.
In 1999, Jones almost lost his life in a car accident. This was his wake-up call to fix his habits and become a better man. “God put me with him to help him get the devil out of him, God put me there to do a job and I did it,” Nancy once said in an interview. “God told me, ‘If you leave him, he’s going to die.’ And I said, ‘You know what — you’re too good of a man to let go to hell and I’m not gonna let you do it.”
Nancy settled his finances, drinking problems, and substance abuse issues. It was Nancy that ‘No Show Jones,’ the nickname George earned for often missing his own concerts and recording sessions, credits for saving his music career.
“No teenage boy ever fell harder for a girl than I fell for Nancy Sepulvado,” George wrote in his autobiography. “When I met my future wife on a blind date in November 1981, I had no idea that someday she would save my life. They say love can change the world, I’m here to testify that it changed one man. Friends, family, doctors, therapists, and ministers had tried to save me, but to no avail. But finally, the power of love from one woman, Nancy Jones, made the difference.”
George and Nancy celebrated 30 years of marriage before he passed away in 2013 at 81 years old.
The late George Jones was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. He scored his first No.1 single with “White Lightnin’.”
Jones went on to release multiple hits, including his seminal song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
He remains one of country music’s most awarded entertainers with two GRAMMYs and multiple Billboard, CMA and ACM Awards. In 2008, Jones was a recipient of the distinguished Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime achievement.
He passed away on Friday, April 26, 2013 in Nashville.