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JIMMY MARTIN (AND THE SUNNY MOUNTAIN BOYS)

  • From Sneedville, Tennessee.
  • Nicknames: “Mr. Good ‘n Country” and “The King of Bluegrass Music.”
  • 1949, auditioned for Bill Monroe at the Grand Ole Opry and was hired on the spot. Worked with Monroe until 1951. He sang lead on Monroe’s first recording of “Uncle Pen.”
  • 1954, formed Jimmy Martin and the Osborne Brothers (with Bobby and Sonny).
  • 1955, formed The Sunny Mountain Boys, named after one of Jimmy’s songs, “Sunny Side of the Mountain.”
  • 1972, won a Grammy award for his work on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s  “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” album.
  • Favorite sport: coon-hunting. Over the years, he has kept a large stable of coon-dogs, most of them named after country-music stars.
  • He often credited himself with inventing the G-run, a guitar lick which is used widely in bluegrass music.
  • 1964, he received a Distinguished Citizenship Award from Nashville’s Mayor Beverly Briley after Jimmy risked his life to pull a mother and her three children to safety from a flaming automobile that was involved in an accident.
  • 1995, he was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.
  • 1999, he was the subject of book by Tom Piazza titled True Adventures with the King of Bluegrass published by the Country Music Foundation.
  • 2002, retired from full-time performing.
  • Died May 14, 2005.

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