Country musician and songwriter George Riddle died Saturday (July 19) at the age of 78, ending his battle with throat cancer.

Riddle was well known as the original Jones Boy. When George Jones got started in the industry, Riddle was the first and only one backing the legend in his band. Riddle's impact on country music also includes his role as a regular fiddle player on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

In addition to playing music, the songwriter also wrote 13 songs for Jones, as well as tunes for many established country acts including Ray Charles, Tammy Wynette, Mickey Gilley, Del Reeves, Melba Montgomery and Margie Singleton.

Riddle was born in Marion, Ind., on Sept. 1, 1935. After spending time in the US Army between 1958 and 1960, he moved to Nashville to pursue music, and met and formed a friendship with Jones.

Most recently, Riddle hosted a classic country radio show for Indiana's WCJC 99.3 FM.