Jesse McReynolds recuperating at home after hospital stay

Jesse McReynolds gives a thumbs up while checking Facebook from the hospital – photo by Joy McReynolds

Bluegrass mandolin icon Jesse McReynolds is resting at home after having to spend several days last week at the hospital. His wife, Joy, says that he is doing well but at his age, you don’t take any chances with concerns about health.

Jesse turned 89 this summer, but Joy says that he is still 30 at heart!

Even after 60 years in the business, McReynolds still likes nothing better than to get out and pick bluegrass with his many friends around Nashville. He was among the earliest bluegrass pioneers, picking up the sound Bill Monroe first demonstrated right away in 1947 as a singing duo with his brother Jim on guitar. They toured for more than 50 years as Jim & Jesse and The Virginia Boys, recording classic sides for Capitol Records, and singing on The Grand Ole Opry. After Jim passed in 2002, Jesse kept the Virginia Boys going and still does occasional sets at The Opry.

Joy gave us a quick run-down of his recent troubles…

“A week to the day that Jesse had a ruptured aneurysm, I had to rush him to the emergency room at about 4:30 a.m. for a blockage that he was having with his bladder. This has been an ongoing problem since his surgery last year. It was never this bad before, and we knew we had to get him immediate attention. The doctor did emergency surgery on Thursday morning and deemed it a success, but then Jesse started running a high temperature.

After an intensive regimen of ice cold milk shakes, witch hazel compresses, and antibiotics, his temperature started coming down. Now he’s just trying to get better. He’s trying to get his strength back up, but it will be a while for his body to heal.

His appetite is fair, and he can move around a little, but he hasn’t picked up his mandolin yet. We are managing his pain, and his spirits are pretty good.

If anyone would like to send him a get well card, the mailing address is:

PO Box 1385
Gallatin, TN 37066

And we both want to thank Jesse’s Facebook friends for all the wonderful messages and prayers.”

Hang in there, Jesse, and get well soon! Your legion of fans still wants to hear you and your crosspicking mandolin.

UPDATE 9/19 – Just as we were all feeling good about Jesse returning home, we learn today that he was again rushed to the hospital this morning at 4:00 a.m. The doctors found another blockage, which was successfully repaired, and they hope to release him again tomorrow.

Joy says he is feeling much better, and eating short ribs at the hospital.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.