Little Jimmy Dickens, Oldest Opry Member, Dies at 94
January 2, 2015 7:03 PM   Subscribe

May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose Little Jimmy Dickens songs on YouTube.

Dickens, who stood 4-foot-11, had performed on the Opry almost continuously since 1948. His last performance was Dec. 20 as part of his birthday celebration. He sang "Out Behind The Barn" and delivered his trademark comedy. He had turned 94 a day earlier.
posted by bjgeiger (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by 4ster at 7:05 PM on January 2, 2015

posted by xedrik at 8:22 PM on January 2, 2015

[Little Jimmy Dickens] is credited with introducing rhinestone suits to country music around 1950, taking a suggestion from Los Angeles clothing designer Nudie.

"He said that when the lights hit them, the audience would go 'Wow,' " Dickens recalled in the 2009 interview. "He was 100 percent right."

🎸 indeed.
posted by blob at 8:25 PM on January 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

He was 94, but still such a shame. No one will ever be able to fill his Nudie Suits. Well, not unless they have them let out a bunch.

posted by sourwookie at 9:03 PM on January 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

posted by Spatch at 9:35 PM on January 2, 2015

For decades I thought that my father had an amazing gift of making up these silly little songs to sing to me while we worked in his shop. Songs about birds flying up your nose and sneaky snakes that drink your root beer. Imagine my surprise when I found out he was just ripping off Jimmy Dickens and Buck Owens all these years. Actually hearing these songs performed by someone not tone-deaf like my father was both enlightening and a little disturbing. As I've grown more fond of classic country, I've discovered even more songs that my Dad didn't make up, but "Bird of Paradise" was the first.

Also, second grade teachers do not find it charming when you sing "May the Bird of Paradise fly up your nose." in class.
posted by teleri025 at 10:10 PM on January 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


He will be missed.
posted by 724A at 10:54 PM on January 2, 2015

RIP Jimmy.

This clip of Bird of Paradise has Jimmy introduced by a TV show host who says "a little bitty man with a great big hit record." Heh. You wouldn't hear any introduction like that today. I mean, Prince certainly wouldn't stand for it.

This bit from the linked article...

Country legend Hank Williams Sr. nicknamed him "Tater" based on Dickens' song "Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait)."

… reminded me of the very first time I ever heard of Jimmy Dickens, around the year 1974, on the album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which featured the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band working with a number of country music icons (Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, etc). One of the songs on the album is Grand Ole Opry Song, which included the line "hear Little Jimmy Dickens sing Take an Old Cold Tater and Wait". That line piqued my interest, and I went looking for this Little Jimmy Dickens fellow. Decades before the internet, of course, but I found a record and bought it. Can't say as I became a rabid fan or anything (Hank Williams just had so much more to offer and all) but I liked him OK.

Glad he lived to a ripe old age, and was making music right to the end.

Now, by way of what I hope the OP will consider friendly and constructive criticism, may I say that an obit plus one link to a YouTube playlist is, well, perhaps a bit thin? Just my opinion, of course.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:55 AM on January 3, 2015

posted by spitbull at 1:56 AM on January 3, 2015

Paisley taking him in, and providing him an audience, as a reminder of Country's history, was a canny historicist move, and one that Dickens milked for all it's worth. I like the symbosis that occured near the end of his career.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:01 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

If anyone was taking anyone in, Dickens was giving Paisley the warm bath of the Opry stage and country royalty and the traditions of country past, not the other way around. The Opry and Mr. Dickens, as he was called by old and young alike, were and are revered institutions in Nashville, which still has (or pretends at having) a soft spot for the country roots. Brad Paisley, whatever his assets and his fame, is a relative newcomer in the Opry fold (2001 being recent in Opry years). If anyone was milking anything for all it was worth, it had to be Paisley. Little Jimmy Dickens milked it too, because he was a big ham, but he didn't have to milk anything.
posted by blucevalo at 12:58 PM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dickens wouldn't have ended up at the CMA awards,and Paisley wouldnt have ended up at the Opry, I don't even think Dickens recorded much outside of Paisley records at the end of his life--it was a fascinating game of them both zooming each other.
posted by PinkMoose at 6:43 PM on January 3, 2015

Take an old cold tater, Jimmy.

I'll wait.
posted by mule98J at 10:56 AM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

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