George Jones Right Hand Man Ron Gaddis Has Died

Ron Gaddis with George Jones

If you went to see George Jones for some 25 years, it was difficult to impossible to miss Ron Gaddis on stage with him. One of the most famous “Jones Boys” for the latter half of George Jones’ career, Gaddis was George’s primary backup and harmony singer, duet partner, and bass player, while also being presented as the bandleader for the Jones Boys live throughout the ’80s and ’90s.

Word came down late last week that Ron Gaddis died at the age of 68. He passed on Thursday, August 24th. “He was one of a kind and very talented,” said Georgette Jones. “He loved my Dad and no one could sing with him like Ron did. My heart goes out to his family and friends. He will be missed and remembered always.”

Born Ronnie Eugene Gaddis in Louisville, Kentucky on July 15, 1955, Ron Gaddis wasn’t an original Jones Boy, but came to prominence during the revitalization of George’s career in the ’80s. Not anyone could harmonize with someone that many consider the greatest male singer in the history of country music, but Ron Gaddis could. Gaddis would also sing the famous duet parts to many George Jones classics, including one of his signature songs “No Show Jones” that Jones originally recorded with Merle Haggard.

Many believed that Ron Gaddis was good enough to be a solo performer himself, and he went on to release his own music too. In 1999 Gaddis released the album Chip Off The Old Block. Along with the Vern Gosdin-penned title track that Gaddis recorded as a tribute to George Jones, the album also includes duets with Porter Wagoner, Leon Rausch of the Texas Playboys, as well as the appropriately-titled “I Fell Off The Wagon” with George Jones.

Also appearing on the album was Lorrie Morgan who was married to Ron Gaddis for a time. The country music couple had a daughter together named Morgan. “It’s taken me all day to try and find the words to express how my children, grandchildren and my family’s hearts are broken at the loss of Morgan’s (my daughter) loss of her biological father Ron Gaddis,” Lorrie Morgan said. “Ron and I remained friends all these years after our divorce (most of the time). He had a big heart and a love for country music like no one I had ever known.”

Despite having the talent to launch a solo career, Ron Gaddis stayed loyal to George Jones for a quarter century, though at one point, Ron’s own battles resulted in his own reputation of being a “No Show,” and he was eventually fired from the George Jones outfit as Jones worked toward his own sobriety. Nonetheless, Gaddis remained like a George Jones ambassador for years, telling stories and keeping the memory of George Jones alive after the country legend’s passing in 2013.

Rob Gaddis continued recording as well, all the way up to 2020 when he released a duet with Buddy Jewell called “Grandpas Like Mine.”

A Memorial Visitation for Ron Gaddis will be held on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 from 12:00pm to 8:00pm with a special tribute at 3pm, at Arch L. Heady and Son Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 8519 Preston Highway, Louisville, Kentucky 40219. Gaddis is survived by his parents, Fred and Eugenia Smith; brothers, Rick Gaddis (Linda), Tony Smith; daughter, Morgan; grandchildren, Preston and Parker.

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