George Jones kind of pulled one over on us before he died in 2013. When he left the Knoxville Coliseum stage on April 6, he knew he was finished, but fans anxious for the remaining 18 dates on his ambitious 2013 tour had no idea.

“I said, ‘Why are you agreeing to everything?’” wife Nancy Jones once recalled of a conversation she had with her husband in the months prior. “He said, ‘’Cause I’m not going to be here. I’m going to agree to anything they ask. Promise me you’ll make a tribute show out of it, and I’ll see it from heaven.’"

He was right, and Nancy did plan a tribute show with more than 70 artists, many of whom have also died since. The weeks after this final concert were quiet, with very people aware that Jones was ailing. Even George Strait admitted he had no idea!

This new episode of Secret History of Country Music zooms in on Jones' final days using reporting from the time, his words as well as Nancy's, Taste of Country's reporting and YouTube footage.

If you were a fan, it's a chance to visit with an old friend. If you're younger, it's a chance to learn how one of the true legends went out.

“I just did my last show," Jones told his wife on the bus after that Knoxville show. "And I gave ’em hell.”

The days after his April 26 death were bittersweet. Tributes poured in. A tremendous memorial was live-streamed from the Grand Ole Opry. If you've ever seen that clip of Vince Gill breaking down while singing "Go Rest High on That Mountain" with Patty Loveless, it was from George Jones' memorial.

Season 2 of the Secret History of Country Music is available as a YouTube video podcast or audio-only podcast. Both are above, but you can also find the pod on Apple, Spotify or wherever you podcast. Following the seven-minute recap, ToC's Billy Dukes and Adison Haager will explore the topic further.

Email with any questions, concerns or suggestions for Season 2.

George Jones' Final Concert Setlist:

1. “Why Baby Why”
2. “White Lightning”
3. “The Window Up Above”
4. “She Thinks I Still Care”
5. “The Grand Tour”
6. “Take Me”
7. “Me and Jesus”
8. “The Window Up Above”
9. “Choices”
10. “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”
11. “He Stopped Loving Her Today”


50 Classic Country Artists Today’s Fans Should Know

Today's country music stars owe a debt of gratitude to the legends who formed and cultivated the genre, starting in the early 20th century. These 50 classic country artists remain relevant today. Some developed a style that's emulated on today's country radio. Others set a bar for vocal talent or songwriting skill.

This list of 50 influential classic country artists features country music singers who started their careers before 1990. It's ranked by each artist's current influence on the country music format today, not individual, lifelong impact. Tell us where we got it right or wrong on Twitter.