Monday, January 05, 2015

R.I.P. Little Jimmy Dickens

Little Jimmy Dickens, a man called "Tater"
Little Jimmy Dickens is with the Bird of Paradise now.

The country star died Friday at the age of 94. To risk sounding hackneyed, he might have been small, but he was a true giant. The West Virginia native may be the last of his generation of hillbilly greats.

Like many of my generation, I first came to his music back in 1965, when he had a crossover hit with "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose." That's back when local radio stations like WKY in Oklahoma City would play hardcore country artists like Little Jimmy, Buck Owens and Johnny Cash alongside of The Beatles, The Supremes and Dean Martin.

But long before the "Bird of Paradise," my mom already was a fan. Little Jimmy was inducted into the Grand Ol' Opry since 1948.

You can read more about his life HERE and HERE.

And you can enjoy some of his songs below:

While he was known for his comical lyrics and funny stage patter, some of his best songs, like "Sleep at the Foot of the Bed" tell stories of childhood poverty and hardships.

That also was the case with his first record "Take an Old Could Tater and Wait," in which he sings of his poor diet as a child: "That is why I look so bad and have these puny ways." It's almost a comical look at malnutrition. Unfortunately, this live video of "Old Cold Tate" doesn't allow embeds. But check it out and wait for his story about his friends Hank Williams at the end.

I couldn't say goodbye to Little Jimmy without posting this song:

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