Congratulations to the late great Johnny Gimble! He along with Ricky Skaggs and Dottie West will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Born May 30, 1926, in Tyler, Texas, Gimble will be remembered as of the most revered and awarded fiddlers in the history of country music. He began playing the fiddle when he was 10 and, by the time he was 12, was performing with his brothers in a band called the Rose City Swingsters. Although it occupied only two years of his career — 1949-1951 — Gimble acknowledged that he would always be known for having been a member of Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys western swing band, in which he played fiddle and electric mandolin. Gimble portrayed Wills in Clint Eastwood’s 1982 film, Honkytonk Man. The movie also yielded Gimble two chart singles, “One Fiddle, Two Fiddle” and “San Antonio Rose,” both of which he shared with Ray Price. He also played and acted in Willie Nelson’s 1980 movie, Honeysuckle Rose and was a member of Nelson’s touring band from 1979 to 1981. Gimble moved from Texas to Nashville in 1968, where he became a much-in-demand session musician as well as a regular on the TV series Hee Haw. He’s appeared on several recordings by Merle Haggard and George Strait. In his lifetime, he was nominated for 14 CMA awards and won five for instrumentalist of the year. His daughter Cindy was among the speakers at Tuesday’s announcement and delivered a few original quotes from her father about how he felt about music. “You could just feel the magic,” she said. “I don’t know if music ever did you that way but if somebody gets that big a kick out of my playing maybe it’s worthwhile to do. The magic, that’s what keeps you playing and that’s what never wears off.” Gimble passed in 2015 at the age of 88.
The official Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place later this year in Nashville, Tennessee. The Class of 2018 will be the 58th group of country music artists to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.