“Little Jimmy Dickens”

Coming to the stage at only 4’11” tall “Little Jimmy Dickens” played a Big part in Country music’s foundation. Born in Bolt West Virginia on December 19th, 1920  he was the oldest of thirteen children. At eighteen years old Jimmy’s début was on WJLS AM radio in Beckley WV. performing as “Jimmy The Kid” he could be found travelling the country playing at radio stations such as WLW in Cincinnati OH and WIBC out of Indianapolis IN. In 1948 while performing in Saginaw MI he was heard by Roy Acuff who introduced him to Columbia Records and the Grand Ole Opry. It was at this time that he adopted the name “Little Jimmy Dickens” because of his short stature. His novelty songs and flashy outfits became a staple of his career and his song “Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait)” earned him the nickname Tater from Hank Williams who wrote “Hey Good Lookin'”specifically for Jimmy in 20 minutes while they were on a Grand Ole Opry tour bus. A week later Hank ended up cutting the single himself. In 1950 while touring with the Country Boys, Jimmy was in Phoenix AZ and discovered future great Marty Robbins. In 1957 he left the Grand Ole Opry to tour with the Phillip Morris Country Music Show. Little Jimmy Dickens Loved touring on the road and for decades preformed an average of 300 shows a year

1964 found Jimmy setting the record of being the first country music artist to circle the globe while on tour, also making TV appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  1965 found Jimmy releasing his hit “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose” which hit No.1 on the country charts and No.15 on the pop charts. During the sixties Jimmy changed recording labels from Columbia to Decca and again in 1971 he moved over to United Artists. In this same year Jimmy ” jumped the broom”     with his new  bride Mona [couldn’t find maiden name for her]. 1975 brought Jimmy back to the Grand Ole Opry and he has remained there ever since.

In 1983 “Little Jimmy Dickens” was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame while performing on the Country Music Awards Show which he stated as being one of life’s greatest achievements. In 1991 Jimmy recorded “Jingle Bells” on the cd “Christmas Times A Comin'” with the cast of In the Heat of the Night released on the MGM/UA label. The “Kung-Pao Buckaroo’s”  featured Jimmy with other mainstay Opry singers such as George Jones and Bill Anderson. This group can be found on various videos by Brad Paisley, another West Virginia native who was close to Jimmy Dickens. At the 2011 CMA awards Jimmy dressed up as Justin Bieber and made fun of his paternity scandal.

I grew up listening to the electric sounds of the “littlest man with the biggest stature” in country music and for the younger music listeners out there today I recommend giving a listen to the riffs this country star was laying down way before rock and rock was here.

references/GAC, Wikipedia  photos/bing

until next time, peace  beibe

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~ by beibejones on March 17, 2013.

One Response to ““Little Jimmy Dickens””

  1. […] romp through the ages found George taking the reins as Country Music’s bad boy and earning him the nickname “No Show Jones“. Although George has over 150 hits […]

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