Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Webster County’s Historical Society welcomes 'Grandpa Jones'

Webster County’s Historical Society and The Kentucky Humanities Council will present their second annual Kentucky Chautauqua performance at the Dixon Community Center, starting at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 25, 2014.

This year’s event will feature David Hurt, a retired farmer turned musician and actor. Hurt will portrait Louis Marshall Jones, the son of Henderson County sharecroppers. Jones is better known as Grandpa Jones.
In the 1920’s, hard times drove the Jones family from Henderson to Akron, Ohio. Jones, who had a repertoire of songs learned from his parents and the radio, won a talent contest that led to regular work on an Akron radio station. That launched a career that lasted more than sixty years. It was during tours with country music star (and fellow Kentuckian) Bradley Kincaid in the 1930s that Jones developed the Grandpa persona he used the rest of his life.
Jones wrote many of his most popular songs. Like many old-time musicians, he struggled during the rock-and-roll craze of the 1950s—he toured Canada and tried his hand at early television. Beginning in 1969, television brought Jones fame as a member of the original cast of “Hee Haw,” which showcased his skills as a vaudeville comic. Grandpa Jones was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1978. He never retired, suffering a fatal stroke after a performance at the Grand Ole Opry in 1998.
Since its inception in 1992, Kentucky Chautauqua has brought to life nearly 70 people from Kentucky’s past - both famous and unknown. 
Kentucky Chautauqua performers travel to schools and community organizations throughout the state delivering historically accurate dramatizations of Kentuckians who made valuable contributions.  
The current Kentucky Chautauqua cast includes 26 figures from Kentucky’s rich and colorful history.  From John G. Fee’s fight to abolish slavery and Mary Todd Lincoln’s life as America’s First Lady, to Alice Lloyd’s struggle to bring education to Appalachia and the humorous stories of Harland “Colonel” Sanders, Kentucky Chautauqua offers something for every classroom and community group.  

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