Ramona Jones (1924 - 2015)
By: Legacy Staff
2 years ago
Ramona Jones, a traditional country music entertainer and the widow of fellow "Hee Haw" star Grandpa Jones, has died, according to multiple news sources.
Jones, who died Tuesday in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, was 91. The cause of death was not announced.
An old-time fiddler and vocalist, she was born Ramona Riggins Jan. 28, 1924, in Van Buren, Indiana. She was a first-generation member of the Grand Ole Opry around the time that she met and married Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones in 1946.
Before becoming a couple, the two performed together on a radio show in Cincinnati, Ohio, when they met. After they married, they continued performing together professionally. She often would play the serious role as her husband joked around to the delight of the crowds.
In 1969, they signed on as featured artists on the new CBS comedy show "Hee Haw." Although "Hee Haw" ran for only three seasons on the network, the show – which was a countrified version of the NBC comedy show "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" – became tremendously popular in syndication for two decades afterward. The show, which also starred the country music stars Roy Clark and Buck Owens, featured down-home humor interspersed with traditional country music performances.
Ramona Jones played not only the fiddle, but also guitar and mandolin. The couple often sang duets on the show.
Friends and fans of the couple reacted to Ramona Jones' death via social media.
"We're so sad to hear that our dear friend, Ramona Jones, has passed away," the Museum of Appalachia wrote on Facebook. "She was one of the finest 'old-time fiddlers' in the world, and also a tremendous singer and entertainer.
"She and her late husband, Grandpa Jones, performed at countless Homecoming festivals, where they were always crowd favorites. After her husband passed, Ramona and her family continued to perform at the Museum – entertaining guests until as recently as a few months ago."
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