Jesse McReynolds

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Jesse McReynolds
Jesse McReynolds.jpg
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 (age 85)
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 known for his innovative crosspicking and split-string styles of mandolin playing, and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1964. He is a multiple Grammy nominee and award winner.

Jesse McReynolds was born in Coeburn, Virginia. Along with his late brother Jim McReynolds, he formed the bluegrass band Jim and Jesse[1] in or around 1947.

In 1993 McReynolds was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor. In 1997 he and his brother were presented with the highest honor in the United States for folk and traditional arts, the National Heritage Fellowship Award.

McReynolds plays between 60 and 70 shows each year. He regularly releases albums, both of bluegrass music and of other genres. His recording Bending the Rules received a nomination for "Best Instrumental Recording of the Year" from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2005.

In 2010 McReynolds completed Jesse McReynolds & Friends ~ a Tribute to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter," released on Woodstock Records. The tribute to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter of the Grateful Dead band featured the guitar and vocal work of David Nelson of New Riders of the Purple Sage, Stu Allen of the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, and Garcia's longtime friend Sandy Rothman on banjo. The record includes 12 of the songs of Garcia & Hunter. Also included on this project is a song written by Hunter and McReynolds, "Day by Day." McReynolds cites getting to meet and pick with Robert Hunter as one of the highlights of his career. This event happened in 2013, when Hunter was in Nashville to receive a lifetime achievement award. Jim Lauderdale brought McReynolds & Hunter together at The Grand Ole Opry for this memorable meeting.

2014 marks McReynolds 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The celebration began with a party in his honor at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. There is also a special 50th anniversary recording, "Jim & Jesse & the Virginia Boys Radio Shows," released March 4, on Rural Rhythm Records. This CD features a live radio show sponsored by Martha White, along with commercials by the great T. Tommy Cutrer and 24 songs. There is also a video of Jesse reminiscing about the CD & era that can be seen at

Each year a birthday celebration concert is held in his honor. This year it will be on July 12 at his Pick Inn Music Park in Gallatin, Tennessee.


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas; Vinopal, David. "Biography: Jim & Jesse". AMG. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 

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