Saturday, January 03, 2015

End of an Era

Some of my fondest childhood memories were those Saturday nights my Dad and I sat around the radio together and listened to The Grand Old Opry!

They call that "bonding" now, but to us, it was just plain old entertainment!

Jimmy Dickens 1948
I won't swear to it, but I'm almost positive that I remember listening to the show on which Little Jimmy Dickens made his debut performance on that classic American institution.

The year was 1948, according to his obituary, which was all over the news yesterday.

I immediately identified with hm back then because I assumed that his title of "Little" was because of his youth. But in reality, it was because of his diminutive size, which was 4 feet, 11 inches.
He performed almost continuously since that first appearance and was the oldest and one of the most loved performers in the Opry's history.

"The Grand Ole Opry did not have a better friend than Little Jimmy Dickens," said Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager. "He loved the audience and his Opry family, and all of us loved him back. He was a one-of-kind entertainer and a great soul whose spirit will live on for years to come."

Dickens was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983.

His biggest hit was a novelty song titled, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" which
crossed over from a "country" hit to also become a "pop" best seller:
May the bird of paradise fly up your nose; 
May an elephant caress you with its toes; 
May your wife be plagued with runners in her hose;
May the bird of paradise fly up your nose."

He was 94.