Jimmy Kennedy passes

Bluegrass bass player Jimmy Kennedy from Robbins, NC, passed away February 4, from a rare type of lung cancer. The 65-year-old owned and operated the 705 Music House for several years. 

Located on NC Highway 705 southeast off Seagrove, the Music House was a gathering place for music lovers, and a live music venue for bluegrass and classic country musicians, both local and touring. Regular attendees prepared home-cooked foods and enjoyed covered dish meals before bands would take to the stage. There was space for dancing and seating for listeners. Kennedy’s establishment served his community well.

The bassist often jammed and fellowshipped with his musical friends on Tuesday nights at Maness’ Pottery & Music Barn in Carthage, NC, until his illness prevented him from attending.

“I’ve known Jimmy Kennedy 35 or 40 years,” shared Clyde Maness, proprietor of the Music Barn. “He’s one of the finest men I ever met. I’m going to miss him. He was the bass player with my house band.”

IIIrd Tyme Out fiddler, Nathan Aldridge, said, “I always saw him at Clyde’s on Tuesdays. He was a good guy.”

Big T Lassiter agreed, “Jimmy and his wife (Pam) both were just some wonderful down-to-earth people. He was another person like (the late) Shorty Byrd and Ronnie Kidd that always had a smile. Jimmy and I were both big men. We always reminisced about our ailments and bass playing. He has been missed at Clyde’s for a while.”

North Carolina musician Racy Maness played briefly with Kennedy in the bluegrass band, Deep River. “He was a humble man and loved traditional bluegrass,” he recalled.

A family memorial graveside service will be held at a later date at the Kennedy Family Cemetery. Condolences may be offered online at the Joyce Brady Chapel web site.

Donations in memory of Jimmy Kennedy, and to help with funeral expenses, may be sent to his wife:

Pam Kennedy
255 Hussey Road
Robbins, NC 27325

R.I.P., Jimmy Kennedy.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.