Jesse McReynolds

Jesse McReynolds

Jesse McReynolds at the Grand Ole Opry in 2007.
Background information
Birth name Jesse Lester McReynolds
Also known as Mandolin Man
Born (1929-07-09) July 9, 1929
Genres Bluegrass
Years active 1947–present
Labels Capitol, Columbia, Epic, Opryland, CMH, Rounder, Old Dominion, Rural Rhythm Records Rural Rhythm Records
Associated acts Jim & Jesse
Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys
Notable instruments

Jesse Lester McReynolds (born July 9, 1929) is an American bluegrass musician. He is best known for his innovative crosspicking and split-string styles of mandolin playing. He has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1964 and is a multiple Grammy nominee and award winner.

Jesse McReynolds was born in Coeburn, Virginia. He and his brother Jim begin performing together [1] in or around 1947. They originally performed under the name, "The McReynolds Brothers."[2] In 1951, Jesse and Jim, joined by Larry Roll on guitar, made their first recording, ten gospel songs for Kentucky Records under the name "The Virginia Trio".[2] In 1952, Jim and Jesse signed with Capitol Records, who asked them to change their name from the "McReynolds Brothers," so they started recording under the name "Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys.".[2] They recorded 20 songs for Capitol over three sessions in 1952, 1953, and 1955.[2] During this time (1952-1954), Jesse also served in the US Army in Korea (the 1953 recording sessions took place while he was on leave).[2] While serving in Korea, he and Charlie Louvin of the Louvin Brothers (who was also serving in Korea) formed a band called the "Dusty Roads Boys" and played regular concerts for other troops.[3] After Jesse's return from Korea, Jim and Jesse continued to perform and release albums until Jim McReynolds's death from cancer in 2002. Since 2002, Jesse has continued to perform and record as a solo artist.

McReynolds plays between 60 and 70 shows each year. He regularly releases albums, both of bluegrass music and of other genres, playing both mandolin and fiddle.



Year Album(s) Group Notes
1951 The Virginia Trio 1951: Their Early Gospel Recordings (Old Dominion, 2000); Sacred Songs of The Virginia Trio (Ultrasonic) The Virginia Trio or James and Jesse McReynolds with Larry Roll Ten songs originally recorded as singles for the Kentucky label, later released as a single album by Ultrasonic and Old Dominion.
1952,1954,1955 20 Great Songs by Jim and Jesse (Capitol, 1968); First Sounds: The Capitol Years (2002);[6] Jim and Jesse: 1952-1955 (Bear Family, 1992); Jim and Jesse: Best of the Early Years (Cleopatra, 2009) Jim and Jesse The duo recorded 20 songs for Capitol in three sessions. These songs have been released under various album names (not all albums listed include all 20 songs).
1958 Best of the Best: Legendary Bluegrass Duets[7] (Federal, 2003) Jim and Jesse 14 singles recorded for Starday and released on various compilations but not released together until 2003 (and even then, only 10 of the tracks appear on the album)
1960 Bluegrass Special/Bluegrass Classics (2-LP set - Epic, 1963) Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys
1962 Radio Shows (2-LP set - Old Dominion, 1979) Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys Recordings of several of Jim and Jesse's radio shows on WBAM (syndicated by Martha White)
1963 Country Music & Bluegrass at Newport (Vanguard, 1963) Various artists Live recording from 1963 Newport Folk Festival; four tracks from Jim and Jesse
unknown (1960-1964)[8] The Old Country Church (Epic, 1964) Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys
unknown (1960-1965) Y'all Come! Bluegrass Humor with Jim & Jesse & the Virginia Boys (Epic, 1965) Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys Not to be confused with Y'all Come: The Essential Jim and Jesse, a greatest hits album released later
unknown (1960-1965) Berry Pickin' In the Country (The Great Chuck Berry Songbook) (Epic, 1965) Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys A cover album of Chuck Berry songs
unknown (1960-1966) Sing Unto Him a New Song (Epic, 1966) Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys
unknown (1960-1967) Diesel on My Tail (Epic, 1967) Jim and Jesse
1968 The All-Time Great Country Instrumentals (Epic, 1968) Jim and Jesse
1968-9[9] Soft Parade (Elektra, 1969) The Doors Jesse plays mandolin on this Doors album
1969 Saluting the Louvin Brothers (Epic, 1969) Jim and Jesse
1969 We Like Trains (Epic, 1969) Jim and Jesse
1971 Freight Train (Capitol, 1971) Jim and Jesse
1972 The Jim & Jesse Show (Prize, 1972; Old Dominion 1972) Jim and Jesse
1972 Mandolin Workshop (Hilltop, 1972) Jesse McReynolds
1973 Superior Sounds of Bluegrass (Old Dominion, 1973) Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys
1973 Me and My Fiddles (Old Dominion, 1973) Jesse McReynolds
1973 Bean Blossom (MCA, 1973) Various Artists Live recording of the 7th Annual Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival; includes five tracks from Jim and Jesse
1974[10] Jesus is the Key to the Kingdom (Old Dominion, 1975) Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys
1975 The Jim & Jesse Show - Live in Japan[11] (2-LP set - Old Dominion, 1975) Jim and Jesse
1976[11] Songs About Our Country (Old Dominion, 1976) Jim and Jesse
1976 Allen Shelton - Shelton Special (Rounder, 1977) Allen Shelton Jesse plays backup for this solo album by Allen Shelton, long time banjo player in the Virginia Boys
1977[11] Palace of Songs (Old Dominion, 1977) Jim and Jesse
1979[11] Songs of Inspiration (Old Dominion, 1979) Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys
1983[11] Homeland Harmony (Old Dominion, 1983) Jim and Jesse
1986[11] Somewhere My Love (Old Dominion, 1986) Jesse McReynolds This was a solo effort by Jesse playing both mandolin and lead guitar, with a backup band that did not include Jim
1990 [12] The Masters (CMH Records, 1995) The Masters One of two albums released by the bluegrass super group The Masters (Josh Graves, Kenny Baker, Eddie Adcock, Jesse McReynolds) that toured together in the late 80s and early 90s
1990 [13] Saturday Night Fish Fry (CMH Records, 1995) The Masters
1993[11] Honor the King of Country Music, Roy Acuff (Old Dominion, 1993) Jim and Jesse This album is sometimes referred to as "Tribute to Roy Acuff"
2010[14] Songs of the Grateful Dead: A Tribute to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter Jesse McReynolds and Friends


  1. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas; Vinopal, David. "Biography: Jim & Jesse". AMG. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Statman, Andy. Bluegrass Masters: Jesse McReynolds. Oak.
  3. Louvin, Charlie; Whitmer, Benjamin. Satan is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers. Igniter.
  4. Retrieved July 25, 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. Recordings after 1979 from Old Dominion Masters liner notes
  6. Retrieved July 25, 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. Statman reports these Starday recording sessions but does not report an album name, as it had not been released at the time of Statman's writing. The album info comes from and
  8. while the date of this and several other of the Epic sessions is unknown, they are listed here in chronological order as reported by Jesse to Andy Statman for his book
  9. "". Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  10. Statman reports this as having been recorded in 1975. The liner notes of "The Old Dominion Masters" reports 1974
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Liner notes for "Old Dominion Masters," 4 album set released by Old Dominion and Pinecastle Records in 1999.
  12. "". Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  13. "". Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  14. "". Retrieved July 25, 2015.

External links

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