Jim and Jesse McReynoldsMarch 06, 2012
(Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin)
Given Name: James Monroe McReynolds Date of Birth: February 13, 1927 Place of Birth: Carfax (near Coeburn), VirginiaDate of Death: December 31, 2002 Married: Arretta June McCoy Children: JaneenJessee McReynolds
(Vocals, Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin) Jim (l) & Jesse McReynolds in 1947
Given Name: Jesse Lester McReynolds Date of Birth: July 9, 1929 Place of Birth: Carfax (near Coeburn), VirginiaMarried: Constance Darlene McCoy Children: Gwen, Keith, Michael, Randy Jim and Jesse McReynolds made their first musical appearance at a local talent show, winning first place and a bag of flour for their efforts. The duo are descendants of considerable musical talent both from their parents and from their grandfather, Charles McReynolds, who was recorded for Ralph Peer during the historic Bristol sessions of 1927. They were also influenced by the many brother groups of the 1930s and 1940s, such as the Louvin Brothers, the Delmore Brothers and the Blue Sky Boys. The two went to work for station WNVA in Norton, Virginia, following Jim's discharge from the military and in 1952, they made their debut on Capitol Records backed by their band, the Virginia Boys. The McReynolds have made many appearances since, both on radio and television, and has recorded for such labels as Columbia, Epic and Rounder. They became members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1964. Their many hits have include "Cotton Mill Man," " Are You Missing Me?" and "Paradise." In 1997, the National Endowment named the McReynolds National Heritage Fellows for the Arts (NEA).
Natives of the western Virginia mountains, Jim and Jesse McReynolds started their career as a mandolin-guitar duet, but quickly acquired a full Bluegrass band, the Virginia Boys.
Jim got out of the Army in 1947 and the brothers began their first professional work at WNVA Norton, Virginia, continuing with performances of a few months each at several radio stations with little success. In 1952, they got a contract with Capitol Records and recorded eight sides at a Nashville session that year. While performing on WCYB Bristolís Farm and Fun Time, Jesse got his draft notice and joined the Army. Their second Capitol session was recorded in 1953, while he was home on leave.
After several lean years of radio and personal appearances, Jim & Jesse finally located at WNER Live Oak, Florida and the Suwanee River Jamboree, where they remained for three years, building up a large following. In 1960, they signed with Columbia and after two single discs their recordings were released on Epic, where they remained throughout the 60ís. On the strength of their regional popularity and Epic contract, they first guested on the Grand Ole Opry in 1961 and became regular members in 1964. They became recognized as a top-notch Bluegrass group and solid performers. Between 1967 and 1972, their recordings took on a more Country flavor, but the quality of their duets never suffered.
With the growing popularity of Bluegrass festivals in the 1970ís, Jim & Jesse returned to their straight Bluegrass sound. Throughout their more than four decades in music, Jim & Jesse have always exemplified a high standard of professionalism and displayed personal character that is the strength of Appalachian Mountain people.
Are You Missing Me? Cotton Mill Man Better Times A-Coming Diesel on My Tail Ballad of Thunder Road Freight Train Oh Louisiana Jim & Jesse — Twenty Great Songs (album) The Jim & Jesse Show (album)