Country and Western Musician, Singer. He is best remembered for his small stature (4 feet 11 inches), his rhinestone-studded outfits, and his humorous novelty songs, including his biggest single hit "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" (1965), that reached number 1 on the US Country Chart and number 15 on the Pop Chart. The oldest of 13 children, he made his radio debut at WJLS in Berkley, West Virginia when he was 18 years old. A drama performer in high school, he received a scholarship to attend West Virginia State University at Institute, West Virginia but decided to pursue a country music career instead. He soon became a successful performer in his home state and branched out to popular radio stations in Indianapolis, Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio, under the name "Jimmy the Kid." In 1948, with the help of Country Music star Roy Acuff, he signed a recording contract with Columbia and joined the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee and started using the name "Little Jimmy Dickens." From 1949 until 1950 he recorded many novelty songs including "Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait)," "Country Boy," "My Heart's Bouquet," "A-Sleeping at the Foot of the Bed," and "Hillbilly Fever," all which made the Top 10 on the Country Music Chart. In 1950 he formed the group Country Boys and toured with the Grand Ole Opry road show and in 1957 he left to tour with the Philip Morris Country Music Show. In 1964 he became the first Country Music entertainer to circle the globe on a world tour. He left Columbia for Decca Records in the late 1960s and switched to United Artists in 1971. In 1975 he returned to the Grand Ole Opry and in 1983 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. During his career, that spanned over six decades, he recorded 12 albums and released over 80 singles. He died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 94. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Bio by: William Bjornstad
Ernestine Anne Jones Dickens