George Jones, Garth Brooks Friendship May Be In A Low Place

Duet on 'Beer Run' turns flat.

NASHVILLE — Garth Brooks is not commenting on a report in The Tennessean that says George Jones feels hurt because Brooks ignored his invitation to appear with him on the upcoming CMA Awards show.

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Brooks decided against releasing "Beer Run," his duet with Jones, as a single. "I just can't find it in my heart to feel that 'Beer Run' is appropriate for right now," Brooks said at the time. He called his duet with Jones "one of the greatest gifts I've ever received in music" and went on to compliment Jones for "singing his ass off."

For his part, Jones issued a statement October 4 thanking Brooks for his clout and for the radio airplay it produced for "Beer Run," released as a track on Jones' new album, The Rock: Stone Cold Country 2001.

"It seems like a lifetime since I've had this much airplay," Jones said. "I am grateful to radio for the spins and to Garth for his friendship, kind words about me and for sharing his hit."

But now the relationship may have gone sour, at least from Jones' perspective. Evelyn Shriver, who heads Bandit Records, Jones' label, alleges that Brooks promised Jones a joint TV appearance. Jones asked about doing "Beer Run" on the CMA Awards, but Brooks never gave him an answer, Shriver told The Tennessean.

Brooks debuted a different single, "Wrapped Up in You," at a press conference on October 9 at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. His new album, Scarecrow, comes out November 13.

At the press conference, Brooks said it was unlikely that he and Jones would ever perform their duet on an awards show but he also seemed to suggest, in his roundabout way of speaking, that there might be a joint appearance in some other context.

"If there's something that'll handle itself live, and maybe something we can't talk about yet in between now and Christmas," he teased, "I would jump at the chance to do something with George Jones."