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Who James McReynolds
When December 31, 2002
Where Gallatin, TN
What Bluegrass legend James McReynolds, 75, dies
 

(Excerpt from the article mentioned above)

Bluegrass legend James McReynolds, 75, dies

By PETER COOPER
Staff Writer

James Monroe McReynolds, a Grand Ole Opry member whose high, clear tenor harmonies helped sibling duo Jim & Jesse to a place among bluegrass music's elite, died Tuesday in Gallatin.

In addition to his remarkably pliant voice and his steady guitar work, the 75-year-old was known for a starched-but-kindly, humble-but-dignified presence that leant an air of class and decency to his surroundings, whether on stage or off.

Mr. McReynolds was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the summer of 2001, and the cancer recently spread throughout his body. He died at 7:40 p.m. on New Year's Eve at Sumner Regional Medical Center.

"If Jesse was the instrumental mainstay of the group, Jim was the key to their heralded vocal blend," Bill C. Malone wrote in his highly regarded book Country Music, U.S.A.

"I never heard him try to imitate anyone else," Mr. McReynolds' brother and partner, Jesse, said yesterday. "He just sang what came natural to him."

Born in the Appalachian mountain town of Carfax, Va., Mr. McReynolds and his brother melded deeply rooted harmony singing and traditional acoustic instruments with innovative musicianship and atypical song selection. That blend carried Jim & Jesse to honors including a National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a place in the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Honor and induction into the Grand Ole Opry 38 years ago.

For full text of obituary article, click here.

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