Jimmy Capps | Larry’s Country Diner
Longtime Opry guitarist and Musicians Hall of Fame member
Jimmy Capps is one of those chosen few who made it big in Nashville. Over the years, he has been a part of turning songs he's never heard before into hits...and in some cases...even 'classics'.Jimmy Capps, was a guitarist who performed on some of country music's most influential recordings in the 20th century
Capps was a member of the Grand Ole Opry house band for more than 50 years, chiseling out a career rich in credits alongside leading figures in country music — Johnny Cash, George Strait and Kenny Rogers among them. It could be argued that Capps' playing reached virtually all country music listeners in the 20th century. He performed on standards such as "The Gambler" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today." The Oak Ridge Boys — who enlisted Capps to perform on the 1981 hit "Elvira" — shared their feelings via social media Tuesday: "The heavenly choir has gained one of the finest players to ever play, And quite frankly one of the finest men to ever live. "
How did Jimmy Capps rise to fame?
He worked in television and radio, logging nights in local clubs, before being tapped to play guitar for duo The Louvin Brothers. Capps considered the gig his "big break." Once he said, "Thanks to Charlie (Louvin) ... I guess I owe my whole career to him."
Jimmy Capps and the Grand ole Opry
Capps began playing music with his brothers in Tennessee when he was a child. He played with his brothers on the Grand Ole Opry in 1958 and went on to become a session musician in Nashville. In 1967, Capps joined the house band at the Grand Ole Opry. He also served on the board of directors for the Nashville Musicians' Union.
Musicians Hall of Fame
Jimmy Capps was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and North Carolina's Music Hall of Fame in 2014. He also appeared on the August 2019 cover of International Musician magazine highlighting his 61 years on stage. In May, 2019, Jimmy was honored with a memorial marker on the sidewalk in front of his boyhood home at 216 W. Church St., Benson, NC and the street is known locally as Jimmy Capps Parkway.
Death and Legacy
Guitarist Jimmy Capps, beloved by everyone who knew him, died on June 2 at age 81 after a long battle with illness. A member of the Musicians Hall of Fame and lead guitarist in the house band at the Grand Ole Opry, Capps was praised by his peers for his "infectious personality and tremendous musical talent."
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