Opry crowd celebrates Dickens
Thursday, January 8, 2015
– The country music community said goodbye to Little Jimmy Dickens today in a celebration of life at the Grand Ole Opry.
Participants ranged from Brad Paisley, a long-time friend of Dickens, to Vince Gill and Carrie Underwood.
Dickens, known for being a singer of novelty songs along with his devotion to the Grand Ole Opry, diminutive size and sense of humor, died last Friday at the age of 94 from cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke on Christmas. He had last performed at the Opry on Dec. 20.
Paisley presided over the celebration, which was open to the public, for his fellow West Virginian.
"There are a few things I know you're not going to hear about Little Jimmy today," Paisley said. "You won't hear somebody say: 'I wish he hadn't taken himself so seriously. I wish he'd made more friends. I wish he'd taken more chances. I wish he'd enjoyed his life more. I wish he'd found true love. I wish he'd treated people better. I wish he was taller.' "
The event included both speeches and performances. Steve Wariner performed Dickens' "Country Boy." Chris Young performed "No Tears in Heaven." Underwood and Gill did a duet of Gill's "Go Rest High on That Mountain.
Paisley performed "Where I Get Where I'm Going" before joining forces with the crowd and performers to sing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."
Paisley said, "We owe it to (Jimmy) to keep the Opry alive and going forever."
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Country Music Hall Of Famer Little Jimmy Dickens, just shy of five feet tall, is proof positive that good things do indeed come in small packages. Germany's Bear Family Records, renown for its comprehensive, meticulously researched box sets, with this - the first of two sets - begins its documentation of Dickens' career in a superb none-too-small collection of 105 songs spanning four CDs from 1949-57 on Columbia.
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I'm Little But I'm Loud: The Little Jimmy Dickens Collection
Little Jimmy Dickens is a member of the CMA Hall of Fame; he's a seminal figure in the bridge between hillbilly and rockabilly music; he's been oneof the most popular country performers in history.
This is the only domestic comprehensive overview of his music (1949-1969) available, and so, for serious collectors of country, the CD is essential.
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