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Jimmy Martin, R.I.P.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Damon Rondeau, May 16, 2005.


  1. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Man, I just mentioned his name here the other day.

    Guess he's gone huntin' for good now.

    News story: http://tinyurl.com/dyfbx
     
  2. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    Loved his work on the Circle album. What a great vocalist. Wish I could have seen him live. :crying:
     
  3. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Jimmy was a true original, alright. I always loved the way he achieved a raw, in-your-face sound yet, with a band that's as tight as clockwork. Got the "Life And Times Of Jimmy Martin" DVD a while back...great stuff. We did a pile of JM at this past weekend's gigs in tribute.

    RIP Jimmy...
     
  4. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    A real original is right! There was maybe a little too much Jimmy for some folks to handle.

    It's sad to see his tail lights because in his case the old cliche is really true: they don't make 'em like that anymore.
     
  5. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    That's what I liked best about him. He was gonna be himself and speak his mind, and damn what the world thought about it. The perfect antithesis to the PC crowd and mediocre musicians who conform like Silly Putty to whatever trend is happening at the moment.
     
  6. I have some friends who go to the SPGMA convention in Nashville each year which is basically a monster jam session. A couple of years ago, they were playing away in a hotel room when Jimmy wandered in. By their account he was definitely feeling no pain. He joined right in like he had known them his entire life and after a few tunes staggered out and moved to the next jam. In their words he was just a regular guy--certainly not a prima donna like so many of today's pros.
     
  7. I guess he mellowed with age. When I crossed paths with him in the late '70's he was possibly the most egotistical jerk to walk the earth on two (short) legs. Not nice to speak badly of the dead, I know, but, jeez...
     
  8. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    There are a lot of Jimmy stories, a great many of them unflattering and not suitable for family entertainment, that's for sure. His old boss Mr. Munroe wasn't any Prince Valiant either. Or Hank Williams, or Ira Louvin, or...

    Greatness doesn't excuse bad behaviour, but greatness is greatness.

    They say he had his nose out of joint the last few years with the O Brother resurgence and that bio of Bill Munroe that won the Gleason award a couple years back (dynamite read, BTW.) Saw Ralph Stanley winning Grammy awards and such and felt that Ole Jimmy had been overlooked. I think he had been overlooked, actually, and it probably had something to do with that highly salty personality of his and a bunch of burned bridges in Nashville...
     
  9. Yup to alla the above.
    Usta play the Carlisle Bluegrass Festival at Courtcliffe Park in Carlisle, Ontario every year during the '70's. Many of 'the greats' played there as well so I had occasion to rub elbows back stage with the likes of Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Mac Wiseman, Ralph Stanley, Country Gazette, Seldom Scene, Larry Sparks, numerous others. Bill Monroe, the "Father of Bluegrass", was always the aloof gentleman. Jimmy Martin, the self-proclaimed "King of Bluegrass", was generally something less than respectable.
     
  10. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Ask the local waitresses about how gentlemanly Bill Munroe was!
     
  11. Gufenov

    Gufenov

    Jun 8, 2003
    I had the good fortune to meet Jimmy at the "Uncle Pen Days" festival in Bean Blossom last September. He was just coming off his first round of chemotherapy. Judging by his vigorous performance, he was as healthy as ever. Afterwards, he sat at the table, shook hands and signed autographs until the last fan had gone. It was only when someone had to help him stand and walk to the golf cart that took him back to his bus that I realized how frail he really was.

    I've heard some stories, too; some from first-hand witnesses, but my respect for Jimmy Martin increased greatly that night.
     
  12. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    It's occurred to me that what's considered "less than respectable" in the bluegrass world wouldn't raise an eyebrow in rock, blues, jazz, country, or any other secular genre. Hope history won't judge Jimmy to harshly for being himself.
     
  13. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    what a bummer. I was hoping to see him live before he passed. (I heard he was not doing well, so this isn't a huge surprise.) rip...