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Banjo-playing Grandpa Jones dies at 84

Louis Marshall Jones was just 22 when he first took on the role of banjo-playing Grandpa Jones, donning brightly colored suspenders and a mischievous grin and winning the hearts of country music fans.

The "Hee Haw" regular died Thursday at 84 from complications from a series of strokes."I feel like I just lost my father," said Sam Lovullo, producer of "Hee Haw," the cornpone variety show that featured Jones from 1968-1993.

"He was the greatest storyteller in the world."

Jones began donning his trademark costume in the 1930s: high-topped boots, brimmed felt hat and flannel shirt with bright suspenders. He got the idea after being nicknamed Grandpa at a radio station because he was grouchy when he had to perform early in the morning.

His comedy act, like that of cohort Minnie Pearl, was pure vaudeville.

In his most famous segment, cast members would ask in unison, "Hey, Grandpa, what's for supper?" Jones would respond exuberantly with a lip-smacking menu of country food:

"Corn bread and gravy. Candied yams. Butter beans. Blueberry cobbler. The more to eat, the more to spare."

Jones was born Oct. 20, 1913, in Henderson County, Ky., the youngest of 10 children.