(Excerpt from the article mentioned above)
Bluegrass legend James McReynolds, 75, dies
By PETER COOPER
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.
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