The Nashville chapter of The Handsome Ladies are hosting a live question and answer sessions this evening with Barbara Martin Stephens, author of Don’t Give Your Heart To A Rambler – My Life with Jimmy Martin, The King of Bluegrass. Barbara lived with Jimmy as his common law wife for nearly 20 years, starting when she was just 17.
The book tells the story of living and working with one of the most iconic and controversial figures in the history of our music. In addition to bearing and raising their children, Barbara served as Jimmy’s booking agent and business partner for many years, eventually providing similar services for other bluegrass and country artists in Nashville. Female agents were not common in those days, and Barbara’s efforts were as groundbreaking at that time as Louise Scruggs’ was with Lester and Earl.
Tonight’s session here at SPBGMA is being sponsored by The Handsome Ladies, a group with chapters all over the US dedicated to providing a supportive space for women to develop as bluegrass musicians. It is scheduled from 7:00-9:00 p.m. (CST) here at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in the Evergreen Room, and is open to the public here at the hotel. It will also be streamed live on the Handsome Ladies’ Facebook page so everyone can join in the fun.
Barbara has a wealth of stories and knowledge, not only about Jimmy’s career, but also about the music business during the ’60s in Nashville. Anybody interested in that era, or in making their own way in music, will be riveted by her presentation. She knows everyone who was important in that era, and isn’t shy about sharing.