Fiddle Pioneer Johnny Gimble Dead At 88

(Radio.com) Western Swing fiddle pioneer Johnny Gimble has died. He was 88. Gimble died in Dripping Springs, Texas, his home state, due to complications from a series of strokes, Rolling Stone reports, on May 9.

The fiddler started playing at the age of 12 with his brothers George and Jerry under the moniker the Rose Swingsters before finding a career in 1949 when he joined Bob Wills' Texas Playboys. Gimble toured with the group for a decade, uniquely playing the five-star fiddle and the electric mandolin, save for the two years he went off on his own from 1951 to '53. It was then he had his first hit: Marty Robbins' 1953 debut No. 1 song "I'll Go on Alone."

Gimble's own debut solo hit "One Fiddle, Two Fiddle" happened decades later, thanks in part to its feature in Clint Eastwood's 1982 film Honkytonk Man, where Gimble played Wills in a supporting role.

He contributed to Merle Haggard's "Ramblin' Fever," George Strait's "What's Going on in Your World," Dolly Parton's album Jolene, Connie Smith, Willie Nelson, with whom he toured from 1979 to 1981, and Chet Akins' 1973 Superpickers. Read more here.

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