Funeral home owner Tammy Miller of the Miller Funeral Home in Tallapoosa confirmed the news to Rodney Ho at ajc.com Sunday afternoon.
Jones, affectionately called “Rhuby” by his friends, was a morning host at country station WYAY 106.7 FM from 1985 to 2008.
“He wasn’t a radio jock,” said Steve Mitchell, who was his producer for three years and then his program director at Y106. “He was a big personality. He was instant friends with everybody he met. It didn’t matter if it was the governor of Georgia or some little kid who had leukemia. He had this big ol’ heart.”
Keith Connors, who now works in radio in Tampa/St. Petersburg, was one of Jones’ early radio show co hosts on Y106 in the late 1980s. “If he was having fun, I knew the listeners were having fun,” he said.
Jones also had a special connection with the country artists he got to know over the years. Connors remember being at the CMA Awards in 2000 when Brad Paisley won the New Artist Award, then called the Horizon Award. In front of Connors, Paisley took a crumpled Post It note out of his pocket. On it, was a note Jones had written a year earlier predicting that Paisley would win that award.
A year later, Jones entered the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame.
Soon after Jones was laid off at Eagle on February 29, 2008, he began working at Kennesaw State University as a media instructor, then a development officer. He said he always had a “Plan B” as his radio career was winding down, taking classes at Shorter Univesrity in preparation for his new career in education.