George Jones waged a decades-long battle with drugs and alcohol, earning him the nickname "No Show Jones" due to the many concert dates missed concerts by being in no shape to perform.

But ten years ago, the Country Music Hall of Famer found himself alone in a pasture -- a place and time that would change his life forever. "I was doing a little praying that the Good Lord would hit me with a sledge hammer," the singer reveals to The Boot, "or do something to help me straighten my act up and make me be a better person -- and quit drinking and all the bad things I had done and had been still doing."

A few months later, George crashed his Lexus into a bridge abutment near his home just outside Nashville, leaving him in critical condition with a deep cut in his liver and a punctured lung.

"The first thing that came to me when I woke up from the bad car wreck was that thought came right into my mind about how I prayed to the Good Lord," says the singer. "He let me live. I died twice going in the helicopter to the hospital."

George recalls that it took him about a week to come to after the accident, and says that the first thing that hit him was how he had prayed in that pasture.

"I was sleeping for quite a while and to wake up and realize right off the bat that's what He did. He woke me up. And I quit smoking, drinking ... anything that I ever did like that, I quit on my own with His help and [with the help of] my wife Nancy. I've never touched a drink [since then] ... you can sit all around me with bottles of it, and it doesn't phase me at all. The only thing I don't like is to smell a cigarette anymore. I can't stand the smell!"

It's been a busy month for The Possum, who'll turn 78 on Saturday (Sept. 12). He's got a new CD collection for sale at Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. And he's working with a writer to develop a big-screen version of his remarkable life story.