It felt like old times again on New Years Eve.
And, no, I don’t mean the partying or the clinking of the champagne glasses.
I’m speaking of my turning on the satellite radio in my car and seeing it there on the screen for the first time in several years: Bill Anderson Visits With The Legends – George Jones.”
It was a total surprise. Nobody had told me they were going to rerun the almost two-hour visit that I had with George and Nancy at their home back in 2004. I did what many of you used to tell me you did back when my series was a regular part of the programming on XM. I pulled off the road and I listened.
It was so good to hear George laughing and cutting up and even imitating me a couple of times. And, of course, singing those great country songs as only he could sing them. And Nancy, sounding so incredibly happy just to be at George’s side on the sofa, talking about how much she loved to go on the road with George because, “I love the fans.”
I had so much fun throughout the seven years I was privileged to host those Visits. So many thoughts came back to me as I listened. I had been fighting a bit of a throat bug the day I went out to George’s, and my voice was a bit creaky, but even though I’m often my own worst critic, I didn’t even care. I just listened and smiled and remembered.
Maybe that’s what the end of the old year and the beginning of the New Year should really be all about anyhow: Calling back the good old memories as we look forward to making lots of happy new ones.
I realized shortly before the Legends series ended that not only had we created entertainment over the years, but we had also given our listeners a window through which to view history. I’d say almost half of the guests we had on those shows have passed away now. What an absolute treasure to hear George Jones’ voice speaking to me one more time, and to hear him recount the ups and downs of his legendary life and career.
And I’ll confess to having a tear in my eye listening to him close out the show with his stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
I wish the powers that be at SiriusXM would realize how many of us love those old shows that are sitting in their vault collecting dust. I’d love for them to give us the opportunity to listen to our friends one more time. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t get e-mails and texts from folks wishing the same. Unfortunately, it’s totally out of my hands.
But even if the rest of the shows never see the light of day again, even if this was a one-time year-end tribute to George, I thank whoever made the decision to air it on New Years Eve.
It was the perfect way to wrap up 2013 and head into a brand new New Year!