All great men have one thing in common; their capacity for kindness. Warren “Rhubarb” Jones was a great man. The Atlanta-based country music host passed away at the age of 65 yesterday, in Tallapoosa, Georgia. Affectionately called “
Jones began his career in radio as a college disc jockey at WWCC in Bremen, Georgia where he was attending West Georgia College. After graduation, Jones worked his way through the airwaves, until he moved to WSKY AM in Asheville, North Carolina. It was there that he started hosting country music radio shows and the rest, as they say, is history.
“A lot of other radio DJs could learn from Rhubarb's kind, humble and generous nature.”- Travis Tritt
By 1985, Warren Jones was the new country host of Y106 in Atlanta, Georgia. He would go on to become the longest-running radio host in the city’s history. Everyone tuned in to hear Rhubarb Jones and his high-energy morning show and his accolades attest to the fact. Jones received Billboard’s Disc Jockey of the Year award, was voted County Music’s Top Radio Personalities by Radio and Records Magazine, and became inducted into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame and the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.
Warren “Rhubarb” Jones used his fame to spread charity and awareness with events like the Rhubarb Jones Celebrity Golf Tournament and the Annual March Across Georgia, which both supported the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Each helped to raise $3.5 million for research and treatment of these diseases.
“He was such a good man that always made your day better when you were around him.” ~Alan Autry
Jones even performed in front of the camera. The Renaissance man appeared in films such as Remember the Titans and Major League: Back to the Minors. But, fans of In the Heat of the Night will remember him as Duke, from the season six episode “When the Music Stops”. Jones would remain a dear friend to the cast and crew of In the Heat of the Night and to Covington, Georgia.
Maureen Dowdell shared a few photographs with us from Alan Autry’s birthday in 1992. These incredible photographs were the work of Alan Palmer. Palmer is best known for his work as the In the Heat of the Night photographer. He graciously shared these photographs with Ms. Dowdell, to honor their dear, great friend. Our favorite shot shows Jones and Autry riotously laughing as they celebrate.
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Warren “Rhubarb” Jones. While he may be known for his radio personality, he will be remembered for his kindness and generosity. Covington will remember Rhubarb Jones as one of the best friends our In the Heat of the Night community knew. We will miss you, old friend.
*Copy write images attributed to Alan Palmer. They are not for distribution or resell without the copyright owner's permission.