Little Jimmy Dickens Biography

Review The Artist (12)

Source: http://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/heritage/biographies/dickens_j.htm
Little Jimmy Dickens-photo
(Singer, Songwriter, Guitar)

  • Given Name: James Cecil Dickens
  • Date of Birth: December 19, 1920
  • Place of Birth: Bolt, Raleigh County, West Virginia
  • Married: 1. Connie (div.), 2. Ernestine (dec’d.), 3. Mona
  • Children: Pamela Jean (adopted), Lisa (Mona’s daughter)

    Recognized for his strong voice and small physical stature, Little Jimmy Dickens skyrocketed to fame in 1949 and 1950 with a string of novelty and "heart" songs on Columbia Records.

    Raised in a musical environment, Jimmy dreamed of being a professional performer and appearing on the Grand Ole Opry. He built up a decade of work experience in radio, beginning with his hometown station WJLS in Beckley, West Virginia. When he moved north to attend West Virginia University, he met T. Texas Tyler and the two proceeded on to WIBC Indianapolis. When Tyler entered the military, Jimmy remained in Indiana for a year before going on to WLW Cincinnati for another year. During that time he grew to his full height of 4’11’’.

    In 1946, he moved to WIBW Topeka, Kansas and then to WKNX Saginaw, Michigan, where he met Roy Acuff, who helped him get a recording contract with Columbia Records and a position with WSM’s Grand Ole Opry. Jimmy did his first Columbia session in 1949 and had several charted hits that year and the next. He was out of the charts from 1951 to 1954 but then returned with a Top 10 hit and novelty singles which did well. His career continued with periods of no chart hits followed by periods of chart successes.

    His use of twin electric guitars helped give him an exciting band sound and his Country Boys were one of the most highly rated back-up bands. Jimmy was elected to the Country Hall of Fame in 1983 and has continued to be active both at the Opry and on road shows. Through over fifty years of professional performing, Little Jimmy Dickens exemplifies what Country music is all about.

    Recordings include:

  • Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait)
  • Country Boy
  • A-Sleepin’ at the Foot of the Bed
  • Hillbilly Fever
  • The Violet and the Rose
  • May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose

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    I remember... | Reviewer: Katherine | 8/17/14

    My brother was recruited by Nashville for his song writing, flown out to tour the Grand Ole Opry. While doing so he meet Little Jimmy Dickens and when he came home he raved about how kind and funny he was. Unfortunately my brother died before he could fulfill his role as " Cowboy Johnny". I am so sorry to hear of Little Jimmy Dickens passing but now my brother and he are together on that big stage up in Heaven. Thank you for all the great music!!

    Thank you for all you have done | Reviewer: Marlene | 11/25/13

    I remember you from when I was just a little girl. My family thought you were wonderful. My grandmother always said you were a shirt~tail cousin of hers but I have yet to figure it out. I am so very proud to be any relation to you. You have given your life to making millions of people happy with your wonderful entertainment. I thank you for that. I remember when I first saw a picture of you, I was about 3 and it put a big smile on my face and it still does. God bless you Jimmy and may the Good Lord keep you well, safe and happy always. I will keep you in my prayers. Marlene

    MEL STEELE AND LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS | Reviewer: patricia neumann | 9/8/13

    MY MOTHERS BROTHER WAS MEL STEELE WITH THE RENFRO VALLEY FOLKS. MY UNCLE AND JIMMY DICKENS WAS FRIENDSWHEN I WAS A SMALL GIRL. AS I REMEMBER ABOUT 1945, TO 1950`S. MY UNCLE TRAVELED OVER 48 STATES WITH THE RENFRO VALLEY FOLKS. I NEVER MET LITTLE JIMMY BUT, MY UNCLE TOLD OUR FAMILY ALL ABOUT HIM. BUT, MY UNCLE LOVED HIM I KNOW, BECAUSE HE NAMED NAMED IS YOUNGEST SON, LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS STEELE, AFTER HIM.. I. HAVEN`T SEEN HIM ON THE GRAND OLE OPRY OR THE GATHERS SHOW FOR A LONG TIME NOW, BUT, I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO MEET HIM IN PERSON AND TALKED WITH HIM ABOUT MY FAMOUS UNCLE MEL STEELE WHO PLAYED WITH THE RENFRO VALLEY FOLKS...I BET HE WOULD HAVE KNOWN MY COUSIN, FREDRICK NEUMANN WHOM WAS A MOVIE PRODUCER FROM NEW JERSEY, WHO RECENTLY DIED LAST YEAR. HE ALSO PLAYED IN MOVIES, AND PLAYED IN THE PRINCE OF TIDES WITH NICK NOLTE, AND BARBARA STRIESAND. THIS IS NO JOKE NEITHER. I HAVE MORE FAMOUS FAMILY IN MY BACKGROUND. I JUST FEEL SAD BECAUSE I`M NOT A VERY WELL PERSON AND I CAN`T GET AROUND VERY GOOD AND I FEEL LIKE I WON`T GET TO GO TO THE GRAND OLE OPRY AND MEET JIMMY DICKENS, AS I`M 77YEARS YOUNG NOW AND NO WAY OF GETTING SOMEONE TO DRIVE ME THERE, BUT, I`LL KEEP TRYING TO GET MY BABY MARY TO TAKE ME SOMEDAY!!!!!!! GOD BLESS EVERYONE OUT THERE AND GOD KEEP JIMMY DICKENS SAFE AND HEALTHY SO, I MAY GET THAT CHANCE!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SINCERELY FOR LI8STENING.. AS EVER,,P.M.E.N.

    Fond Memories | Reviewer: Roger | 8/3/13

    I can remember seeing Jimmy perform at the Ivanhoe Temple in Kansas City, Missouri when I was very young, and that's been a very long time ago. It seems like he was a regular on that show for a while, but I'm not sure about that. It'a not mentioned in any of the biographical articles I have read.

    Hi ! | Reviewer: Jackie Dailey | 7/1/13

    Hi, Jimmy:

    I really enjoy seeing you perform at the Grand Ole Opry.
    We make two trips to Nashville a year and go to the Opry
    each visit. You are great ! Hope your treatment goes
    well and looking forward to seeing you in the fall at our
    next Opry visit !

    Little Jimmy Dickens A Great Showman | Reviewer: Jim Goodnoe | 5/7/13

    I was able to see Jimmy Dickens two times. One at Fort Lee, Virginia and the other with Porter Wagnor at the Blue Hen Mall Theater in Dover Delaware. He always takes time to talk with and have pictures taken with his fans. Keep up the great work and God bless. The Goodnoe Family

    Best country comedian | Reviewer: Theressa de Vries | 4/9/13

    I first seen Little Jimmy Dickens in 1977 at the Grand Ole Opry and fell in love
    with him at the age of 7 he is the icon of country music love ya Little Jimmy Dickens. Your songs and jokes will be around for years to come
    May God Bless and keep u
    Theressa de Vries Ontario Canada...

    1st singer i remember hearing! | Reviewer: Thomas Havard | 1/17/13

    I heard little Jimmie singing Hillbilly Fever when i was about 2 yrs. old. Loved his singing ever since then and now i'm 66. I saw him in Viet Nam in 1967 and he put on a great show!

    Radio days....... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/7/12

    I was just a teen ager when I first heard Little Jimmy, on the radio, singind "take an old cold tater and wait" or May the "bird of paradise fly up your nose" and sleeping at the of the bed. He was on WIBC radio out of Indianapolis In. at the time. Never got to see him in person, but still enjoy him on Family Re Union on TV.

    Famous Family | Reviewer: Tim McClure | 12/4/11

    I remember My Great Great Aunt, Edna Dickens and my Great grand Mother Pearl ( Her Sister) My mothers Great Aunt, very well My mother talked a lot about Jimmy showing up at the family reunions when she was younger. I think he may be one of the oldest living members of my distant family. Keep going Jimmy we Luv ya Tater.

    my biggest wish | Reviewer: amanda | 5/20/11

    i was 12 when i lost mom and 20 when i lost my daddy,im 33 now and have a 10 yr old daughter and an 8 year old son.i thank my parents everyday for what they taught me,and one of the best things they taught was the love for good ol country music,settin out on the porch with them and listening to my dad sing little jimmy dickens,box car willie,jhonny horton and i loved it.loved settin on my granddads knee and watching the grand ol opry.there was nothing better,i have bought the grand ol opry on dvd for my children to see,and we are leaving for vacation to tennessee next friday,i hope to meet little jimmy dickens,it makes me want cry,i have grown to love him through my parents,and the love that i and they have has now spilled over to my children,who cares who justin bieber or katie perry is,there will never be anyone like little jimmy dickens!!!!!!he has touch my heart!!!!!

    JIMMY DICKENS STILL IS THE GREATEST | Reviewer: Regina Figueroa | 4/12/10

    I SEEN JIMMY DICKENS IN MT. HOME ARKANSAS, I WAS ABOUT 6 YRS OLD, MY MOTHER TOOK ME TO THE THEATHER WHERE JIMMY WAS SINGING, I THOUGHT HE WAS GREAT THEN, I AM 66YRS.NOW AND HE STILL IS GREAT, GOD BLESS YOU JIMMY. REGINA FIGUEROA


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