March 16 Chautauqua Program – Grandpa Jones

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will present their next Kentucky Chautauqua program on March 16.

Actor David Hurt will present his show, “Grandpa Jones: Country Musician and Comic,” at Thistle Cottage as part of the ongoing Thursdays at Thistle series of programs. The event begins at 7 p.m.

David Hurt as Grandpa Jones

David Hurt as Grandpa Jones

Louis Marshall “Grandpa” Jones, born in 1913 to sharecroppers in Henderson County, made his name on radio and television and as a touring musician. In the late 1920s, after hard times on the farm drove Jones’ family north to Akron, Ohio, young Louis Marshall won a talent contest using songs he’d learned while growing up in Kentucky. That led to regular radio work. By the time he graduated high school in 1931, Jones was already a busy professional musician and soon set out on the road as a touring artist with a grueling schedule. Fellow musician Bradley Kincaid, teasing the tired performer, once said, “Marshall, get up here and do the folks a number. You sound like an old grandpa.” The nickname stuck.

In the 1970s, Jones scored a job as a regular on the 1970s comedy show “Hee Haw,” where he was best known for answering the question, “What’s for dinner, Grandpa?” That job made him even more famous than his decades of touring.

Jones was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1978. He never retired and continued to perform for the remainder of his life. He suffered a stroke following his 26th anniversary performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry in January 1998 and died on Feb. 19 at the age of 84.

This program will be Hurt’s second visit to Thistle Cottage. He previously portrayed Lilley Cornett at a 2015 Chautauqua program. Hurt is a musician and actor who has performed at Stage One in Louisville as well as in Lexington theaters.

This is a free event, and light refreshments will be provided.

This program is part of the library’s Thursdays at Thistle series, featuring speakers, musicians and other performers once each month.

Thursdays at Thistle is provided by Muhlenberg County Public Libraries with funding from the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation. For more information about this or other upcoming programs, call the library at 270-338-4760.

Kentucky Chautauqua is an exclusive presentation of the Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from: Christina Lee Brown, the Brown-Forman Corporation, the Carson-Myre Charitable Foundation, the Cralle Foundation, the Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation, Lindsey Wilson College, Morehead State University, Paducah Bank, PNC and Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc.

The Kentucky Humanities Council is a non-profit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit or call 859-257-5932.