|My Grand Ole Opry Memory – Meeting Little Jimmy Dickens|
Yesterday, not just country music, but the music community as a whole lost a legend. It is without a doubt that a lot of folks can share their own story or two of Little Jimmy Dickens. The Grand Ole Opry star passed away at the age of 94 years old. I have been a fan of his for many years and was fortunate to have met him.
|Little Jimmy Dickens in 2005 at the Grand Ole Opry – By Jessica Blankenship|
On down the years, while visiting Nashville, I always took time to do a tour of the Opry House and take a photo of his dressing room door. In 2011, my pal, Sunny Sweeney, invited me to be her guest for one of her performances. I told her I would come, but only if I got to meet Little Jimmy Dickens. Needless to say, she made it happen. Right after her performance, we walked the halls backstage and she knocked on his door politely. Little Jimmy Dickens gave her a hug and she said that she wanted to introduce him to a friend of hers. I stood there absolutely speechless and for once in my life (besides meeting Dolly Parton), I had no words. I was like a kid standing there in amazement.
|Meeting Little Jimmy Dickens backstage at the Grand Ole Opry|
I finally blubbered, “In all my 30 years, my only new years resolution was to meet you. And now that dream has come true and I don’t know what to do!” He cracked up and said “well bless your heart darlin’.” Yes, Little Jimmy Dickens called me darlin’. He gave me a hug and here I was trying to compose myself and not sound like an idiot. He asked where I was from, how did I know Sunny, and a few other things. I let him know that I was just so thrilled to meet him. Thankfully one of my buddies had my camera and took a few photos.
|Little Jimmy Dickens – by Jessica Blankenship|
I will never forget the time my mom told me about meeting Little Jimmy Dickens. A while back, we had an “amusement park” type deal called Tombstone Junction, just past Cumberland Falls in Corbin, KY. A lot of entertainers would perform, from Conway Twitty to Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash. My mom was helping out a relative sell fruit and veggies at a roadside stand on the way to Tombstone Junction. She said that a bus pulled up one afternoon and here comes Little Jimmy Dickens off the bus. He ends up buying a watermelon off of her. I still crack up thinking that my momma sold a watermelon to Little Jimmy Dickens.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.