Country Music Legend Little Jimmy Dickens Dead at 94
. (Radio.com) After being hospitalized for a stroke earlier in the week, country music legend and longtime Grand Ole Opry star Little Jimmy Dickens died Friday afternoon (Jan. 2) at a Nashville hospital. He was 94.
A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame since 1983, Dickens is survived by his wife Mona (whom he married in 1971) and his two daughters, Pamela Detert and Lisa King.
Dickens is best known for goofy but well-written and -recorded novelty songs such as "Take An Old Cold Tater (And Wait)," "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose," "A-Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed," and "Out Behind The Barn."
Though these often silly songs became the foundation of his repertoire, Dickens actually recorded a wide range of material over his long career, including rockabilly numbers ("I've Got a Hole in My Pocket"), sacred songs (such as "Old Rugged Cross" and the curious period piece "They Locked God Outside the Iron Curtain") and a surprising number of ballads like "The Violet and the Rose" and "Life Turned Her That Way"), which showed he was plenty capable of reaching emotional places far beyond the funny bone.
Born in West Virginia in 1920, James Cecil Dickens was one of 13 children. He first performed on local radio programs around the Midwest (including under his earlier stage name Jimmy the Kid) before Roy Acuff heard him and helped earn him a spot on the Opry and win a recording contract with Columbia. Read more here.
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