Jesse McReynolds Celebrates 50 Years As A Member Of The Grand Ole Opry

Article Contributed by Rural Rhythm Records | Published on Thursday, February 27, 2014

Inducted in 1964, Bluegrass legends Jim & Jesse are celebrating 50 Years as members of the GRAND OLE OPRY this year.  On March 1st the Grand Ole Opry® will honor Jesse McReyonlds as he celebrates his 50th year as a member of the Grand Ole Opry®.  The success of their 60’s radio shows prompted Martha White Flour to bring them to Nashville to star on their early morning show on WSM.  In 1964 a life time dream came true for Jim & Jesse when they became regular members of the Grand Ole Opry®.Deep in the mountains of southwest Virginia still stands the white aging farmhouse Jim & Jesse first called home. Raised in the small community of Carfax, located near Coeburn, VA, the boys grew up in a family steeped in traditional mountain music.  Their harmony was exceptional, a rarity some say only brothers can produce. Jim's enhanced high tenor combined with Jesse's deep lead and unique mandolin style set this duo apart in the world of traditional music, now termed Bluegrass.Very early in their career, Jesse developed a "McReynolds style" technique on the mandolin, combining his invention of "crosspicking and split-string playing", which distinguished his picking from others. Many have imitated, but few have successfully mastered his unique style of fast execution of intricate melodic patterns.In 1952, Jim & Jesse debuted on their first major label, Capitol Records. Since that time, they have recorded for various labels including: Columbia, Epic, again for Capitol, Opryland, CMH, Rounder, and their own, Old Dominion. In 1960, their first single for Columbia, "The Flame of Love" backed by "Gosh I Miss You All The Time" spent weeks climbing the top 100 national charts. "Cotton Mill Man", "Diesel On My Tail", "Are You Missing Me", and "Paradise" are a few songs regarded as Jim & Jesse classics.The year 2002 was a difficult one for Jim and Jesse. Jim was diagnosed with cancer and passed away on December 31, 2002.  His death ended the longest active professional brother duet in country music history - 55 years.Jesse has carried on the Jim & Jesse tradition and has since gone on to play throughout the world with the Virginia Boys. And the beautiful music that originated from the brothers in the mountains of southwest Virginia back in 1947 is as timeless as ever.The Jim & Jesse tradition continues to grow in 2014 with the release of the album RADIO SHOWS which is currently #1 on both the AirPlay Direct Global Radio Indicator Charts for “Top 50 Albums” and the “Top 50 Bluegrass Albums for the month of February.“Jim & Jesse have captured something truly special here.  A lifetime of radio fans and professionals giving them input on which songs were best, I LOVE IT…!” - Robert Weingartz, Chairman & Founder – AirPlay DirectOriginally released in 1978 as a 2 record set on the Old Dominion label, RADIO SHOWS will be available for the first time on CD and digital formats on March 4th.  RADIO SHOWS was recorded in 1962 and contained mainly songs never before recorded by Jim & Jesse and The Virginia Boys, and were selected because of the heavy requests for them on their radio shows.Produced by Jesse McReynolds and Gordon Reid, RADIO SHOWS contains 24 songs on one compact disc remastered from the original master tapes with performances by Jim & Jesse McReynolds, Allen Shelton, Jim Buchanan, Don McHan and David Southerland.A special added value feature to the album includes online access to a Jesse McReynolds video interview reminiscing about the RADIO SHOWS album and era, as well as, exclusive photos from his private collection during this wonderful period in the lives of Jim & Jesse.Jim & Jesse recorded and released many albums on the Old Dominion label dating back to the early 70’s including “The Jim & Jesse Show”, “Superior Sounds Of Bluegrass”, “Jesus Is The Key”, “Jim & Jesse Show Live In Japan”, “Songs About Our Country”, “Palace Of Song”, “Songs of Inspiration” and more.Rural Rhythm will be making these albums available for Jim & Jesse fans to enjoy again and bring their music to a whole new generation of Bluegrass & Country music fans.