Skip to comments.Bluegrass Legend Jimmy Martin Dies
Posted on 05/16/2005 6:43:59 PM PDT by T. Buzzard Trueblood
May 16, 2005, 10:30 AM ET
Jimmy Martin, one of the greatest vocalists in bluegrass, died Saturday (May 14) in a Nashville hospice where he was battling bladder cancer. He was 77.
In 1949, Martin replaced Mac Wiseman in Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, the premier bluegrass group, and served as the group's guitarist and lead vocalist until 1954. His tenor vocals were featured on many of the Monroe band's recordings for Decca -- perhaps most memorably on the gospel sides collected in 1969 on "A Voice From on High."
After recording with the Osborne Brothers in the mid-'50s, Martin founded his own group, the Sunny Mountain Boys. This band, which included such leaders in their own right as J.D. Crowe and Doyle Lawson, recorded such bluegrass standards as "Rock Hearts," "Widow Maker" and "The Sunny Side of the Mountain."
In 1972, Martin joined such other country and bluegrass legends as Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Roy Acuff and Earl Scruggs on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's album "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," a landmark merger of rock and country talent. In the early 1980s, Martin founded his own label, King of Bluegrass.
The oft-irascible musician was profiled in Tom Piazza's 1999 book "True Adventures With the King of Bluegrass" and George Goehl's 2003 film "King of Bluegrass: The Life & Times of Jimmy Martin."
Martin's funeral will be held Wednesday at the Cornerstone Church in Madison, Tenn.
-- Chris Morris, The Hollywood Reporter
You live in Gatlinburg? I am SO jealous!! :o)
I'll play it soon as I can!
Yep.... the Lawmen swore they'd get him...
but the Devil got him first.
Or so the story goes !
Probably the best!
Oh yeah this song reminds me af Chet Atkins too
God rest his happy soul
Hubby and I were there about 2-1/2 years ago. We came out and rode "The Dragon" - what a blast! We did some poor planning though and were there during bear season! Whoops!
Justa pickin and a grinin, I can see um now. :-)
These songs are posted in memory of
a bluegrass legend who passed away today.
Like a Chatanooga Dog
through the nose!
Thanks for the links! The version of "Sunny Side of the Mountain" with which I am familiar is the one on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," where they have assembled many great Opry stars. It was this record that turned me (and a lot of other young people) on to bluegrass in the 1970s. Jimmy's vocals on that record were (and are) a revelation. Saw him once in Frisco, about 10 or 12 years ago. He was fantastic. The plaid suits were worth the price of admission alone. He was so funny! He was totally out of his element, knew it, and didn't care a whit. He just put on the charm, and the show, and let the chips fall. He invited us all to come visit him if we were ever in his hometown. It seemed like he meant it and I always wanted to take him up on it, but never had the opportunity. He said "My number's in the phone book, you can just look it up. I don't have to hide from anybody. I always pay for my dry cleaning when I pick it up." He told a couple of jokes that involved race, but were not at all belittling or derogatory, but still ran afoul of the hyper-sensitive mores of the locals. Made me love him all the more for being either unaware or unconcerned, whichever. There was only one Jimmy Martin. May God bless and keep him.
My favorite version is Leadbelly. Sung like a man who lived it. Kurt Cobain did ok with this one, too, believe it or not. Also Dolly Parton. Still, Leadbelly is the one that gets me.
BTW, Del McCoury became the greatest living singer in Bluegrass on Saturday, May 14, 2005, IMHO.
Glad you liked it .."frontier ranch' Kirkersville ohio"
The only problem being, of course, is that "Country Music" is as much of an oxymoron as there's ever been in the history of the universe.
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