It’s been 65 years since Little Jimmy Dickens made his debut on the WSM Grand Ole Opry barn dance. While living in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1947-48, Dickens was invited by Roy Acuff, the King of the Hillbillies, to join the show.
Little Jimmy Dickens in Saginaw
It’s been 65 years since Little Jimmy Dickens made his debut on the WSM “Grand Ole Opry” barn dance. While the “Opry” has changed over the years, the 92-year-old Dickens seems as spry and witty as ever. While living in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1947-48, Dickens was invited by none other than Roy Acuff, the King of the Hillbillies, to be his guest on the show, after Dickens impressed Acuff during a Michigan appearance.
Dickens’ time in Saginaw revolved around a new radio station, WKNX, where he performed with his band, served as a radio announcer, and assisted with programming. Fiddler Casey Clark worked in similar capacities for the station managers, and Clark and Dickens often shared musicians in the days before they organized their own bands. Tex Ferguson arrived a few months later, and all three groups played shows together in schools, social halls, and a roller rink in Bad Axe. After his guest appearance at the “Opry,” Dickens moved to Nashville with encouragement from Acuff.
The complete story of Jimmy Dickens at WKNX radio Saginaw is covered in Casey Clark’s biography in the book: “Detroit Country Music – Mountaineers, Cowboys, and Rockabillies,” which includes quotes from Dickens himself.