Grandpa Jones

"Hey, Grandpa, what's for supper?"

Louis Marshall Jones was born in Niagra, Kentucky on October 20, 1913. He was the youngest of ten children born to sharecroppers. In his teens, the family moved to Akron, Ohio where he won a local amateur talent contest and a long career was born.

At the age of 22, he was performing on a radio show. One of his partners gave him the name Grandpa because he took such a long time to get to the microphone when called. His voice made him sound older too. Fans would write in to ask how old the show's Grandpa was, and the name stuck.

He served in the Army in Germany during World War II, and afterwards moved to Nashville, where, in 1947, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was an original member of the Hee Haw cast from the show's beginning in 1969, and in 1978 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was known for his banjo picking, but he was also proficient on the guitar.

This is a movie poster from "Country Boy" from the collection of Marisa Bush.

He was often joined on the Opry stage and the Hee Haw set by his talented wife, Ramona. She played fiddle, mandolin, and other instruments.

Grandpa continued to perform as a regular at the Opry after Hee Haw was cancelled. After the Saturday night performance on January 3, 1998, he suffered a stroke, from which he never recovered. He died February 19, 1998 in Nashville, TN. He is buried at Luton's Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery, which is close to his home near Ridgetop, TN.

This is the home of Grandpa and Ramona Jones, located near Ridgetop, TN.

More Grandpa Jones links:

See pictures of Grandpa and his grave at Find-a-grave

Fuller Up, the Dead Musician's Directory - excellent articles and bios about Grandpa (though it's a pretty unusual site - be warned!)

Radio Etc. Tribute

A fan's Grandpa Jones page

 

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