published Monday, March 18th, 2013

Get Off the Couch: Jones, John headline concerts

LISA DENTON: Barry, you've worked beside me long enough to know that I have a few quirks. One may be the fact that I could enjoy both big concerts coming up this weekend, even though George Jones and Elton John have virtually nothing in common. Musically or otherwise.

BARRY COURTER: They might not be as different as you might think. At one time or another, both did wear some pretty sparkly outfits on stage. Still, they might not have much in common to talk about, though George, given some of the stories about him and wife Tammy Wynette, might empathize with a certain Elton song. You know the one I mean, the one about fractious activities on a weekend night.

LISA: The Possum is on his farewell series of performances, The Grand Tour, that will culminate in Nashville with a 15,000-seat, sold-out show at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 22. I was a little surprised when I checked last week that tickets were still available for his Friday show at Memorial Auditorium.

I already have my tickets to see the Rocket Man, who plays McKenzie Arena on Saturday.

If I come into work next Monday humming "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and "Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting)" back-to-back, you'll understand why.

BARRY: See, I'm thinking if they did a duet, they could do "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?" "No Show" wrote it about the loss of country music legends like Hank Williams, but Sir Elton has filled some pretty big, and garish, shoes in his day.

LISA: I've seen George a couple of times -- including once outside Charlie's Lounge in Soddy-Daisy. That was surreal. I haven't seen Sir Elton in person, but I'm going with someone who's a huge fan, so that should be fun.

BARRY: Just for fun, try to imagine those two sharing a beer together. It's funny to imagine Elton up at Charlie's. But picturing George anywhere but at a place like Charlie's is hard to do also. Of course, we are making assumptions. They'd probably get on just fine.

In any case, they are both mega-stars and very good at what they do. I've seen them both live and, as different as they are, both are worth seeing and hearing. They each have well-earned reputations for different things, but it's all about the music and both can deliver that.

LISA: George Jones should be a big draw Friday night at the auditorium, but there's also an Appalachian Music Festival at the Tivoli Theatre that should be pretty cool. The Cumberland Trail Suite will feature Grammy Award winners Tim O'Brien and Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops. They'll be joined by a host of other Cumberland Plateau musicians offering spoken word and musical performances to raise money for Friends of the Cumberland Trail.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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