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Jimmie Riddle
Born:  September 3, 1918
Died:  December 10, 1982
Hee! Haw!
WSM Grand Ole Opry
WMC Memphis, TN
WSM Nashville, TN
Veteran U. S. Army


About The Artist

James Lawrence Riddle—a native of Dyersburg, Tennessee—was a country music harmonica and piano player who spent the greater part of his career as a member of Roy Acuff's Smoky Mountain Boys. In earlier years he had worked and recorded with the Memphis-based western swing outfit, the Swift Jewel Cowboys, and then with various bands in the greater Houston area.

In March 1943 Roy Acuff offered him a job which he first turned down, but later changed his mind and joined the group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He appeared in the Acuff motion picture Sing Neighbor Sing in 1944 and was later inducted into the U. S. Army in September. Much of his army career was spent as a POW guard.

Promo Ad - Okaw Opry - Findlay, IL - Jimmie Riddle - Eepher - November 1973
Promo Ad - Buckley's Record Shop No. 3 - Grand Opening - Jimmie Riddle - Roy Acuff - Tootsie - Brother Oswald - Archie Campbell - Jackie Phelps - June Stern - John Hartford - December 1967

Promo Ad - Canton Municipal Auditorium - Canton, OH - Red Foley - Roy Acuff - Minnie Pearl - Tex Ritter - Jimmie Riddle - Brother Oswald - Howard Forrester - Jackie Phelps - November 1963
Promo Ad - Masonic Temple - Davenport, IA - Dave Dudley and the Road Runners - Jean Shepard and the Second Fiddles - Peggy Little - Stan Hitchcock - Jimmie Riddle - January 1971

Back with the Acuff band in June 1946, he first recorded with him in January 1947 and most sessions thereafter. Although the Acuff band did not travel as much after the mid-1960's they continued to play the Opry regularly. In later years, he switched to the piano when Onie Wheeler joined the band on harmonica. Sometime during the early 1950's, a number of the Acuff band went bear hunting and Riddle was the one who shot a large bear. A magazine article about it appeared in a men's hunting magazine.

While still a Smoky Mountain Boy, Riddle and another band member Jackie Phelps joined the cast of Hee! Haw! where they demonstrated the archaic musical arts of Eeephin' and Hambonin' with Riddle doing the Eeephin.' Jimmy even recorded a single of Eeephin on Decca.

In 1964 he recorded an LP Country Harmonica on Cumberland.

Over his long career, Riddle was married twice and had a son and a daughter, one with each wife.

Eefin - Hee Haw screen shot - Jackie Phelps and Jimmie Riddle
Eefin - Hee Haw screen shot - Jackie Phelps and Jimmie Riddle no. 2

Portrait - Jimmie Riddle - Harmonica and Accordion - The Smokey Mountain Boys Picture Album

Credits & Sources

Appearance History This Month

June 11, 1952
Grand Ole Opry - American Ace Coffee
Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN
Jimmie Riddle

June 11, 1952
Grand Ole Opry - Royal Crown Cola
Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN
Jimmie Riddle

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

 
Briar
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  45-131 A Pig Knuckles
  45-131 B 6/8 Blues
 
Decca
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  32735 A Yakety Eeeph
  32735 B Wildwood Eeeph
  46239 A The Three Trees
  46239 B I Found My Mamma
 
Speed
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  112 A Confess That You?re Mine
  112 B Indiana Gal
  116 A I Lost My Heart
  116 B This Lesson of Love
 
Todd
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  45-1074 A Let's Go
  45-1074 B When My Dreamboat Comes In


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