1913 - 1998
Born Louis Marshall Jones in Niagra, Henderson County Kentucky, Oct 20, 1913, he learned the guitar by age 11. After his family moved to Akron Ohio Louis became a regular on a local radio station.
In 1935 Bradley Kincaid - who had featured Louis on his radio broadcasts- noticed that listeners where talking about the new singer with the old voice, spawning the idea of dressing Louis up as an old man, switching his guitar for a banjo, and incorporating a few jokes and stories into his act. Some say one morning Louis plain sounded "Old and Grumpy". The concept took off and Grandpa Jones was born. Louis, now Grandpa was only 22.
A few years later Grandpa became a regular on the Boone County Jamboree, but left for a period of war service. World War II found him serving as an MP in the Army in Germany. While there, he organized a band called the Munich Mountaineers which played daily on the Armed Forces Radio Network.
He joined the Opry in 1947 and by 1959 was considered a "Fixture".
His distinctive banjo pickin' style and his down-home country humor made him a natural for the television show Hee Haw when it debuted in 1969.
1978 Grandpa was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Where you can see his famous outfit consisting of his hat, shirt, suspenders, trousers, boots (which where resoled 13 times), spectacles and fake mustache.
He performed regularly on the Opry up to, and including, January 3, 1998, when he suffered a stroke after his performance. After spending several weeks in Baptist Hospital in Nashville, he was moved to a private long-term care facility. On February 19, 1998, Grandpa Jones passed away from complications following his stroke.
Everyone's favorite Grandpa was 84 years old.
© 1999 Eddie Bear Productions