The songwriter created George Jones' touring band and wrote tunes for legendary artists.
MusicRow: Robert K Oermann • July 22, 2014
Country Artist George Riddle Dies
Country entertainer George Riddle died Sunday, July 20 in his home state of Indiana.
The singer, songwriter and veteran sideman had reportedly been battling throat cancer. He had surgery for the disease in May, then died of complications at a hospital in Indianapolis. He was 78 years old.
George Riddle was perhaps best known as the founding member of George Jones’s touring band, The Jones Boys. In fact, during the superstar’s early days on the road in the 1960s, Riddle was his only accompanist and harmony singer. The band was subsequently built
Riddle also wrote 13 songs recorded by Jones, as well as titles recorded by Faron Young,
and Rose Maddox. In 1963, Melba Montgomery had top-40 hits with Riddle’s songs “Hall
of Shame” and “The Greatest One of All.” Born in Marion, Indiana, George V. Riddle began his career as a child performer in a traveling medicine show. He was then a teenage radio singer on stations in his home state, as well
as in Tennessee and Florida. Following service in the army, he moved to Nashville in 1960.
His first major job as a sideman was in Don Gibson’s troupe. He initially served as a Jones Boy in 1960-63.
As such, he appeared in the 1963 movie Country Music on Broadway.
Riddle is also notable as the highharmony vocalist on several Jones hit records of the 1960s. In addition, George Riddle was a solo recording artist. He was signed to United Artists
(1960-63), Starday (196367), MGM (196769) and Musicor (1970),as well as a number of
smaller independent labels. His most popular single was “She’s Lonesome Again,” recorded
for UA. Among his seven LP releases are Country Callin’ and Riddle N Rhyme. He performed in package shows and headlined his own dates for many years, working alongside a who’swho of country music, including Porter Wagoner, Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline.
formerly married to country singing star Norma Jean. Following a long residency in Goodlettsville, George Riddle returned to his home state.
Since 2005, he has hosted “Classic Country Jamboree,” a Saturday morning weekly radio
show on WCJC near his home in Gas City, Indiana. He won R.O.P.E. (Reunion of ProfessionalEntertainers) awards in Nashville in 2011 (as a DJ) and 2012 (as a songwriter). George Riddle is survived by daughter Suzanne Fiser, by sisters Roberta King and Lola Millerand by grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are being handled by RavenChoate Funeral Home in Marion, Indiana. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to MarionGrant County Humane Society (2768 W. Avon Ave., Marion, IN 46953),
to Cancer Services of Grant County (305 S. Norton St., Marion, IN 46952) or to Marion VA Recreational Services (1700 E. 38th St., Marion,
Background information (Source unknown)
Country musician and songwriter George Riddle - who founded George Jones' touring band, The Jones Boys, and wrote and recorded several well known tunes including "She's Lonesome Again" - died Sunday in Indianapolis. He was 78.
A native of Marion, Ind., Riddle came to Nashville in 1960. There, he soon teamed up with
Jones, whose star was quickly rising after 1959's "White Lightning", his first No. 1 hit.
Riddle was the first member of Jones' famed backing band The Jones Boys. He was also a
solo recording artist throughout the '60s, and toured with numerous country legends on
Hall of Famer duo's final concert in 1963, and was riding along in the car when the
brothers decided to call it quits. It was a memory he'd later cherish. "I realized I was in the
presence of country music greatness," he told The Tennessean in 2013.
the '90s until shortly before Carlisle's death in 2003.
In his Opry appearances with Carlisle, Riddle played the ever affable straight man. He'd say that he'd seen Carlisle around Goodlettsville in the company of an attractive young woman, to which Carlisle would exclaim, "Doctor's orders! He said
find a hot mama and be cheerful."
Riddle would say, "No, youheard him wrong. He said, 'You have a heart murmur, be
After Carlisle's death, Riddle returned to Marion, Ind., where he hosted Classic Country Jamboree, a weekly radio show. Riddle is survived by sisters Roberta King and Lola (Ron) Miller; daughter Suzanne Fiser of Toledo, Ohio; grandchildren Benjamin Fiser and Jacob (Kelli) Fiser; and great grandchild Jade Fiser. (Picture: George Riddle, Patsy Cline, George Jones)
Updated: 20181026 | 20190506 | 20190711