June 4, 2009 — He might only be 4'11", but Little Jimmy Dickens stands tall among country stars. And his height has never kept him from operating successfully in a big man's world.
In fact, he played basketball during his school years in West Virginia.
"My high-school sweater has three years of varsity letters on it," he told GAC's Bill Cody. "I was a fast forward. I'd run between their legs."
One of the Grand Ole Opry's primary ambassadors, Little Jimmy appears in the newest edition of Master Series, debuting Sunday at 11 a.m. ET. He recalls working alongside Opry stalwarts Minnie Pearl, Eddy Arnold and Ernest Tubb and tells how he was present when Hank Williams wrote the classic "Hey, Good Lookin'." Little Jimmy celebrated the 50th anniversary o f his Opry membership last year.
"I thought I was a hot shot," he says. "I thought I was ready for what I was going to do at the Grand Ole Opry, but I just started to school when I came here."
In turn, he's been able to pass along his knowledge to some of the Opry's newer members, including fellow West Virginian Brad Paisley.
"When Brad's got something stupid to do that nobody else will do," Little Jimmy laughs, "he calls me!"
Little Jimmy will be back on the Opry this weekend. Also appearing on the venerable show: Mark Chesnutt, Patty Loveless, Crystal Gayle, Mark Wills, Kathy Mattea and newcomers the Carter Twins.