Johnny Gimble dies at 88

Johnny Gimble dead at 88

Johnny Gimble has passed away in Dripping Springs, Texas, at the age of 88. He is one of my favorite fiddlers, and was the king of beautiful, Texas-style double stops. He was born May 30, 1929, in Tyler, Texas, and was influenced by the jazz violin of Stuff Smith and Svend Asmussen. Hin 1949, he joined Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, who he toured with until the 1960s. He then moved to Nashville, where he worked as a session musician. He played on such hits as "I'll Go On Alone" by Marty Robins, "If We Make It Through December" by Merle Haggard, and "Right or Wrong" by George Strait. He won five Instrumentalist of the Year Awards from the Country Music Association and Fiddler of the Year Awards from the Academy of Country Music, and a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Here at BluegrassDaddy, I teach two of his songs. The first is an advanced waltz written by Johnny Gimble called Gardenia Waltz, named after a town in Texas. Next are the breaks he played on "Faded Love" which was a hit for Willie Nelson. Gimble toured with Willie Nelson for several years.

Here is an interesting video about the life and career of Johnny Gimble. I hope you enjoy learning about the man known as "America's Greatest Fiddler."

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Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Johnny Gimble dies at 88

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    Great ScottGreat Scott

    Thank you for sharing this sad news, John.  He was a great fiddler who will be surely missed.  His memory and music live on.


    Thanks , appreciate it very much , nice story , beautiful history and musical influence .
    Having so much to discover here at , learning the best of the best from the best:O)
    That was a good night special for me :O)
    R.I.P Johnny Gimble , thanks for leaving us with the beauty you have .

    Avatarfiddle camp

    Thanks John for informing us about the great Johnny Gimble. Somewhere around 1986 or ’87, I had the opportunity to meet Johnny Gimble during a demo recording session for Greentree publishing company. We recorded at Hilltop Studios right off Dickerson Prkwy near Nashville. I was working as a demo singer for this publisher in those days. Johnny and Buddy Spiecher played twin fiddles on the session. On the session were some other musical heros of mine, of course along with Johnny and Buddy, were Jimmy Capps, Buddy Harmon, Jerry Whitehurst and Billy Linneman. Great bunch of guys! I remember Johnny as a very nice man down to earth with a very keen sense of humor. One of the mmost memorable times of my life, I’ll always cherish and brag about, if you don’t mind, having come so close to such a legend, After the session, I walked up to Johnny and told him how grateful I was to meet him. He was really nice and humble, he said, he would be playing the opry and he would leave a backstage pass for my wife and me. Sure enough when we arrived, there the pass was waiting for us. Had a great time! I too, am saddened by the loss of this man who was such a musical genious and fiddle icon. Thanks Johnny for your wonderful gift to this world. R.I.P!!


    He has some videos on YouTube. Faded Love is one of them. He was a great fiddler!


    One of the greats, thanks John.

    John (BGD)John (BGD)

    Thank you Caintuck for that story. Brag all you want here! I wish I had a chance to meet him. From stories and from the video interviews I have seen, he did seem to have a wonderful sense of humor. It sounds like he was also very kind and humble!

    BGD member Mike Spears of iFiddle Magazine told me about his passing, and I felt a really loss. We are currently working together, along with some other fiddlers, to create a video tribute to the guy who influenced so many of us.

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