Sunday, September 04, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jim & Jesse

Artist:Jim & Jesse
Song:Hard Hearted
Album:Dixie Hoedown

Jim and Jesse McReynolds performed and recorded for many years as Jim & Jesse. Jim played guitar and Jesse played mandolin. Jesse is considered to be a pioneer of bluegrass mandolin. Their vocal harmonies will hook you. That's what I love about bluegrass music. They grew up in Coeburn, VA. Their grandfather Charles McReynolds played fiddle for the Bull Mountain Moonshiners. So the McReynolds brothers learned to play at a very early age. After Jim left the US Army after WWII, they performed together as The McReynolds Brothers mostly on live radio. They signed a deal with Capitol in 1952. Capitol asked them to change the group name so they became Jim & Jesse. But before they could record, Jesse was drafted into the US Army for the Korean War. When he returned, they continued to perform on radio and TV. They finally recorded for Starday Records in 1958. And that was when Hard Hearted was first recorded. They have re-recorded it many times. But the original recording is on this CD. Jim & Jesse went mainstream country when they joined the Grand Ole Opry and signed with Epic Records in the 60s. Their biggest hit was Diesel On My Tail in 1967. The Epic recordings were more mainstream country and I may look at them some other time. When Jim & Jesse left Epic in 1970, they returned to traditional bluegrass and they recorded for various labels including their own label. Jesse's son Keith McReynolds joined the group in the 70s. Jim died in 2002 and Keith died in 2003. But Jesse McReynolds continues Jim & Jesse with grandson Garrett McReynolds. They still play occasionally but it looks like Jesse is mostly retired. That's four generations of great bluegrass music. Here's Jim & Jesse with Keith performing Hard Hearted 1976.

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