Sunday, May 15, 2005


The death has been announced of Jimmy Martin, memeber of the Bluegrass Boys. Inspired by Bill Monroe, Martin played with the Bluegrass Boys during the mid-50s before spinning off his own act, The Sunny Mountain Boys. The band worked with Decca records for nearly two decades, recording a slew of bluegrass standards, including Widow Maker, The Sunnyside of the Mountain, and Hold watcha Got. He was inducted into the Bluegrass Association's Hall of Honor in 1995, and, according to George Goehl's liner notes for the album accompanying a 2003 documentary about Martin's life, he managed to improve on his idol's work:

"Jimmy's strong, high vocal range pushed (Bill) Monroe's tenor up into the sky, helping shape what has become known as the 'high lonesome sound."

Over a long career, he collaborated with a huge range of artists, included a stint with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; his are the first vocals to appear on the Dirt Band's 1972 Will The Circle Be Unbroken album.

Martin was diagnosed with bladder cancer a year ago; the 77 year-old died on Saturday.

King of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin's biopic, is currently available on DVD

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