Grandpa Jones


  • Born Louis Marshall Jones in Niagra, Kentucky.
  • Began professional career at age 11.
  • A guitar player first, then learned banjo in his early twenties. Learned banjo from Cousin Emmy, a flamboyant female performer of the 1930’s.
  • The “Grandpa” nickname was adopted when he was only 22 years old.
  • 1940’s, formed a gospel-singing group called the Brown’s Ferry Four which included the Delmore Brothers and Merle Travis. The Brown’s Ferry Four tradition was kept alive (in spirit) by the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet.
  • While in the army in 1944, had a group in Germany called The Munich Mountaineers.
  • Joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1946 and stayed there until 1949; left soon after to work on the Old Dominion Barn Dance, broadcast out of Richmond, Virginia; returned to the Opry in 1952 only to leave again in 1956 to work on Jimmy Dean’s TV show in Washington, D.C.; 1959, returned to Nashville to stay.
  • 1968, joined the cast of the Hee Haw television show.
  • 1978, elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • Daughter Alisa Jones Wall is one of the nation’s most recorded hammered-dulcimer players.
  • 1998, died at the age of 84.
  • 2023, he was inducted into the National Banjo Hall of Fame.