Old-Time Fiddler and ‘Hee Haw’ Star Ramona Jones Dies
Ramona Jones — a well-known fiddler, singer, television star and wife to the late Grandpa Jones — has died. The 91-year-old died on Tuesday (Nov. 17), 17 years after the death of her first husband.
Born Ramona Riggins in Van Buren, Ind., the self-taught musician met Jones in the early '40s, but didn't marry him until 1946, after he returned from World War II. The couple worked and recorded together frequently, often appearing at the Grand Ole Opry. Notable duets include "Dark as a Dungeon," "Don't Sell Daddy Any More Whiskey" and the Ramona-penned "Old Troup Dog."
In addition to singing, she played fiddle, guitar, mandolin and straight-man to her husband’s quirky, wholesome brand of country humor. A popular skit on Hee Haw was their cowbell routine. Both would strap cowbells to their hands and feet and attempt to play well-known tunes.
Some solo success would follow in the 1970s. Back Porch Fiddlin' was her first studio album, released in 1976. From there she'd record three more over a decade and begin appearing on popular television shows, while being recognized for her own contributions to country music. Music Row reports that the Grandpa Jones Family Dinner Theater in Arkansas was a popular tourist destination. Ramona Jones managed the venue.
Jones was recognized as a strong old-time fiddler and advocate of mountain music, and she continued to perform after her husband died in 1998. She went on to marry Reverend W. Eugene Gober, and is survived by him, three children (Eloise, Mark and Alisa), two grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.
See More Country Stars Who Died in 2015