On This Day: Little Jimmy Dickens Dies at Age 94 in 2015

by Matthew Wilson

Pour one out for Little Jimmy Dickens. It’s been six years since the famed country music star and frequent Grand Ole Opry player passed away.

Dickens, known for his humorous songs, died two days into 2015 after having a stroke on Christmas. The musician was 94-years-old when he passed and hung his rhinestone-studded costumes up for good. Dickens had celebrated his birthday only weeks prior on Dec. 19. As part of the festivities, he performed onstage at the Opry for what turned out to be the final time.

Dickens saw a lot of country music over his lifetime and crossed paths with some of the industry’s biggest names. One of country music’s early pioneers Hank Williams affectionately nicknamed him Tater. That nickname came from Dicken’s song “Take an Old Cold Tater (and Wait).”

Yes, the singer was known for his humor. He also recorded the novelty song “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.”

Little Jimmy Dickens Had a Long Career

To condense 94 years of life into a few short paragraphs, Dickens was among country music’s most colorful and also most loyal. He was the kind of performer to make fun of his own small stature or “Willie Nelson after the taxes” as he said. Dickens also known for his appearances in CMA sketches, notably appearing as little Justin Bieber one year.

He appeared with Brad Paisley in several of his music videos during the singer’s early career. He also once ascended a step ladder so he could invite Trace Adkins to the Grand Ole Opry. When George Jones died, Dickens was there comforting and offering support to his widow Nancy.

“The Grand Ole Opry did not have a better friend than Little Jimmy Dickens,” says Pete Fisher, Opry Vice President and General Manager. “He loved the audience and his Opry family, and all of us loved him back. He was a one-of-a-kind entertainer and a great soul whose spirit will live on for years to come.”

Dickens was a natural entertainer with a big heart. These last six years in country music have been a little less fun with him gone.