10 August 2017

Jimmy Martin, born 10 August 1927

James Henry Martin, as rhythm guitar player, lead singer, songwriter, and bandleader, has always been recognised as one of the foremost makers of classic bluegrass style and repertoire. To mark his birth, here's a 2012 tribute, 'My name is Jimmy Martin', composed by banjo-picker Ray Edwards, with vocals by guest stars.

Many in the music business, as well as others in his life, found Jimmy Martin mercurial, abrasive, and hard to understand. The admirable University of Illinois Press has now published Don't give your heart to a rambler: my life with Jimmy Martin, the King of Bluegrass by Barbara Martin Stephens, who has earned her own place in bluegrass history as one of the first women to take on the role of booking agent. See this feature by John Curtis Goad on Bluegrass Today. The book (with or without audiobook) can also be bought here.

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