Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryGrand Ole Opry legend Little Jimmy Dickens has died at age 94 due to cardiac arrest following a stroke he suffered on Christmas Day.
Dickens was born in Bolt, West Virginia on December 19, 1920. He was discovered by late Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff and went on to join the Opry cast in 1948. Dickens was the longest-running member of the Grand Ole Opry at the time of his death and gained a big following for his novelty hits “Out Behind the Barn” and “Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait).” His flashy, rhinestone suits, slight stature — he was 4’11″ tall — and quick wit made him a favorite on the Opry and around the world. Dickens became the first country artist to circle the globe on a world tour and has played Europe 13 times.
Dickens scored his biggest hit in 1964 with the humorous song, “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” The song stayed at #1 on the country chart for 10 weeks and landed Dickens a coveted performance slot on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson after it crossed over to the pop chart.
Jimmy Dickens was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983. He’s best known to newer generations of fans through his multiple appearances in Brad Paisley videos and as a member of the Kung-Pao Buckaroos, along with Bill Anderson and the late George Jones, on bonus comedy tracks on Brad’s albums. Jimmy also made several appearances with Brad on the CMA Awards.
Jimmy is survived by his wife, Mona, whom he married in 1971.
Little Jimmy Dickens will be remembered with a Celebration of Life Service this Thursday at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The service starts at 11 a.m. local time and is open to the public. A public visitation will be held Wednesday evening at Woodlawn Roesch Patton funeral home in Nashville.
Brad Paisley released a statement via Twitter Friday night paying tribute to his friend and hero, Little Jimmy Dickens. He spoke of Jimmy’s longevity, sense of humor and charm. Brad also said Jimmy was the best friend anyone could ask for.
Brad continued, “Do not mourn Little Jim. Celebrate him. Relive and share the memories. Aspire to be like him. And above all, laugh at the punchlines, the craziness, and the way he so gracefully made this planet a funnier, better, richer place while he was alive. And in doing so, will continue to for years to come.”
Here is a roundup of other statements on the passing of Little Jimmy Dickens:
Dolly Parton — “I often perform one of Little Jimmy’s best known songs ‘I’m Little But I’m Loud.’ I’ve always related to him and loved him as a person, as a friend, and as an entertainer. He will always be loved and remembered.”
Randy Houser — “What a life of 94 years. Rest in peace and thank u for being good to us young bucks.”
Reba — “Rest in peace Little Jimmy. Thanks for all the smiles, great music and your big loving heart.”
Parmalee — “RIP Little Jimmy Dickens. Country Music will definitely miss you!!”
Chase Bryant — “RIP Little Jimmy Dickens… I’ll never forget all the great times hanging out with you at the !!! You’ll be greatly missed.”
Chris Young — “RIP Little Jimmy Dickens… Loved fishing with you, loved your music, and loved you as a person most of all.”
Dustin Lynch — “Celebrating Little Jimmy Dickens tonight….what an honor spending time and sharing the stage with him.”
Rascal Flatts‘ Jay DeMarcus — ““
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