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Baby Lee
05-15-2005, 07:14 AM
Jimmy Martin, a pioneering bluegrass singer and guitarist who performed with the Blue Grass Boys and many other musicians, died Saturday. He was 77.

Martin died in a Nashville hospice, more than a year after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer, said his son, Lee Martin.

After performing as lead vocalist for the Blue Grass Boys periodically through 1955, Martin formed his own band, the Sunny Mountain Boys, and recorded with Decca records for 18 years.

Martin recorded several bluegrass standards, including "Rock Hearts," "Sophronie," "Hold Watcha Got," "Widow Maker" and "The Sunny Side of the Mountain."

Martin was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Honor in 1995. His life was also the subject of an independent documentary film, "King of Bluegrass: The Life and Times of Jimmy Martin," which was released in 2003.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, Martin performed on both the "Louisiana Hayride" and "WWVA Wheeling Jamboree," which were well-known country music shows. He also made guest appearances on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, but never became a regular cast member, which was his childhood dream.

Martin collaborated with many other artists throughout his career, including the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. His voice was the first heard on the Dirt Band's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" album in 1972, and his appearances on subsequent albums brought his feisty spirit to audiences that might never have attended a bluegrass festival.

Earthling
05-15-2005, 07:33 AM
One of my best friends, Jim Moratto, played banjo for "Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys" for a couple of years. I'm assuming its the same Blue Grass Boys. This would have been in the late 60's. We played music together in Colorado for about 12 years. I told him he flared early, went to hell, and ended up playing banjo in our band.

Baby Lee
05-15-2005, 07:35 AM
One of my best friends, Jim Moratto, played banjo for "Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys" for a couple of years. I'm assuming its the same Blue Grass Boys. This would have been in the late 60's. We played music together in Colorado for about 12 years. I told him he flared early, went to hell, and ended up playing banjo in our band.
One and the same. Bill Monroe fronted the Blue Grass Boys.

Earthling
05-15-2005, 07:41 AM
Thought so...Jim had quite a few funny tales about life on the tour bus with Monroe and the band.