This Valentine's Day, along with Cupid's annual visit, Columbus will also be graced with the presence of one of the last remaining country music legends, George Jones. There's a greater connection between the two than you might think.

This Valentine's Day, along with Cupid's annual visit, Columbus will also be graced with the presence of one of the last remaining country music legends, George Jones. There's a greater connection between the two than you might think.

Everyone knows what a love song is; hearts and flowers, undying devotion, moonbeams, doves and rainbows usually come to mind. What the country music world in general, and George Jones in particular, have always understood is that a love song can also be about heartache, loneliness and bitter regret.

From the first time radio listeners heard Jones "wonder why baby, why baby, why baby why/ You make me cry baby, cry baby, cry baby cry" back in 1955, through to his 1980 comeback hit "He Stopped Loving Her Today," his voice has embodied the sound of a broken heart forced to go on living.

Back in AM radio's heyday, music was a wall of monaural sound, and the most successful crooners had pipes that could cut through the accumulated ruckus of a roomful of musicians to deliver the lyrics.

Jones did that and more, belting with the best of them when he needed to, but also dropping to an almost fragile confessional tone when the song called for a more gentle moment. Within a few years, he helped propel the style of country music vocals from a barn dance rebel yell to the conversational tone of a guy pouring his heart out beside you at a bar.

Perhaps most distinctive was the way he navigated from note to note. To be sure, country singers prior to him had emitted a steady stream of whoops and hollers, but Jones had - and still has - his own way of bending a note, which can nearly turn a brain sideways. If your heart made a sound when it broke, it would sound like that.

The ability to convey that particular brand of emotional pain doesn't appear from nowhere, of course. Married and divorced twice by his mid-thirties, Jones was next wedded to fellow country star Tammy Wynette in 1969.

Their early-'70s duets are classics, but the marriage couldn't withstand Jones' drinking and general cantankerousness. Throw in a little cocaine and it's no wonder he missed enough tour dates to earn the nickname "No Show Jones."

By the '80s he was often broke, and sympathetic friends like Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings were keeping him afloat. Miraculously, "He Stopped Loving Her Today" shot him back up the charts and earned him platinum status for the first time, and in 1983 he married his current wife Nancy, who Jones credits for his continued sobriety and survival. Few have found and lost love as often as he has, and you can hear it in every note Jones sings.

Saturday night's show at the Schott will no doubt include a lot of lighter fare, like "I'm a People," "The Race is On" and "White Lightning." Recent sets on Jones' tour have included a lot of medleys, understandable considering his 55-year career has produced 166 chart hits.

Included in the mix should be more than a few tearjerkers, as well. That unmistakable voice will swoop like the rollercoaster that is Jones' life, and the audience will feel themselves pulled along to that place where the ground comes out from under their feet, when the last moment before falling feels almost like flying.

Like no one else, he conveys all the bittersweet emotion of the lonely and the brokenhearted, and if you're lucky enough to hear it on Valentine's Day, holding hands with someone you love ... well, it will just sound even sweeter.