Friday, January 16, 2015

Little Jimmy Dickens Tribute

2015 kicked off with sad news in the music world with the passing of Little Jimmy Dickens.  He passed away at the age of 94.  I just started attending Grand Ole Opry shows in the last five years.  One of the names that was on that first show of mine was Little Jimmy Dickens.  I wasn't as familiar with him although I definitely knew his name.  If you know anything about country music and the Opry, you are going to know that name and recognize him.  It definitely just made the show have such a genuine Opry experience.  I once again got to see him in 2011.  This show really stood out for me as he opened the show that night.  I had great seats for this show.  I remember looking around and just watching the crowd watch him.  The music, the jokes.  The Opry crowd just roared for him.  It was amazing to watch these fans just love this guy so much.  I have never forgotten that.  He was so much fun on that night in 2011.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to see him again live as his health got worse not long after that keeping him from doing as many shows as he had been doing.  I had always held out hope that I would just get to see him one more time.  I watched his Celebration of Life online last week which took place in that same place, inside the Grand Ole Opry.  It was just a beautiful service for him and took us all on a whirlwind of emotions.  The music and tributes and then to the great video footage of clips I have never seen.  Brad Paisley was the perfect person to have there to guide the service.  He loved that man so much and his words and tributes since his passing have been so touching to read.  I loved what was said that Brad has been a guy determined to make sure this current generation knew just how special he was with getting him on to shows and in the view of the fans.  Examples of this included the CMA Awards and Opry shows.  I am a newer country fan and I will tell you that this has worked on me.  With going to the Opry shows, I am more familiar with the newer generation of stars.  However, while being at the Opry, I have gotten to see all of these great legends on the shows.  I look forward to seeing them on shows as well when I go.  I have several legends that I have gotten to really like and am disappointed when they aren't on the lineup when I am there.  Just goes to show with what Brad is doing and also what the Opry is doing is working.  I feel like I have gotten a great education on the history of country music there in Nashville over the years.  One of those I got a lesson on was Little Jimmy Dickens.  I also tuned into Eddie Stubbs tribute on WSM Radio that night which featured music, archive interview footage, and more.  It was just great to listen to.  The service that day at the Opry just had these great moments including the pastor's words on telling stories about Jimmy, Brad's great performance of "When I Get Where I'm Going", and the amazing duo of Vince Gill and Carrie Underwood singing "Go Rest High On That Mountain".  The close of "Let The Circle Be Unbroken" was just perfect for closing it.  I have gotten to know Little Jimmy Dickens career more just here in the last few years but I am thankful that I have.  I am also thankful that with the great way that everything is archived music wise and with stories that I will be able to learn even more.  Little Jimmy Dickens memory is already living on.  Thank you so much to his family and also to the Opry for allowing us at home to be a part of saying farewell to such a music legend. 

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