Johnny Gimble

Johnny Gimble
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Over the course of this century, Texas has produced some of the greatest of America's country fiddlers. While most of the early pioneer players have retired or "gone on," one of the best (some say the best) is still going strong at age 70+. Johnny Gimble began his professional career over 50 years ago when he played fiddle in a band made up of his four brothers. Soaking up the music of Milton Brown, Bob Wills, and other great Western swingsters of the day and gaining experience from performing at local functions in East Texas, Gimble was good enough by the end of high school to leave Tyler and find his musical destiny. His first job with the Shelton Brothers was followed by work with Jimmie Davis and then Bob Wills in 1949. For two years, Gimble handled fiddle and mandolin chores as a member of the Texas Playboys and continued to work with them off and on into the 1970s and 1980s. During the 1950s and early 1960s, he left music and worked as a barber in Waco, Texas, but when country music began to rise in popularity, Gimble returned and was suddenly in great demand. Over the next ten years, he was the undisputed king of country session fiddlers appearing on hundreds of records. Johnny found time to record his own albums and collaborate on several projects with the surviving legends of Western swing (he played a vital part in launching Western swing revivalists, Asleep at the Wheel). For his impressive body of work and contributions to the field, Gimble was honored with numerous awards: CMA Instrumentalist of the Year (1975, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990), ACM Best Fiddle Player (1978, 1984, 1987), and two Grammy nominations for Best Country Instrumental Performance. Other highlights have included regular appearances on Austin City Limits, tours as part of Willie Nelson's band (1979-1981), and work with Chet Atkins, Mark O'Connor, and Asleep at the Wheel. In the 1990s, Gimble lived in Dripping Springs (near Austin) and had his own band (Texas Swing). And although a new generation of country fiddlers now did most of the session work, he still got frequent calls from musicians who wanted that incomparable Gimble sound. In 1996, Johnny and Bela Fleck won the Best Country Instrumental Grammy for "Hightower." --David Goodman, author of Modern Twang: An Alternative Country Music Guide and Directory
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02/15/2010 - Legendary fiddler has shaped a genre's sounds for a lifetime  - Read More
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Average Rating : 5              Total Reviews: 2

Johnny Gimble  03/09/2002            
"Humble, talented, one of a kind, he's as good as it gets" from the previous review says it all. I caught him performing at a very intimate venue with Floyd Domino and Eric Hokkanen and the show was simply wonderful. His accolades speak for themselves but to watch him live leaves me at a loss for words. He's a virtuoso without being a "hot dog." Don't turn down any opportunity to watch him play in person.
Johnny Gimble  08/19/2001            
stanley miller
I caught him in Llano playing backup for an 85 year old singer who they were hving a birthday show for. Even Willie showed up. Johnny knew all the intros and helped make a great tribute. Even Willie asked for his help. I had never heard of him but he stole the show with out trying to. Humble, talented, one of a kind, if you get a chance to seem it will be a treat of a life time. The next day I heard Merl Haggard on a record and in the middle he said, "go Johnny". He's been around forever and he's as good as it gets.
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