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.