James Howard ‘Jimmy’ Maynard was born on April 22, 1928, in Temperance Hall, DeKalb County, Tennessee.
He became familiar with Bill Monroe’s music as a 13 year old. Maynard didn’t pursue music as a career initially, spending two years in Detroit then served in the Army for a while. In 1956 he moved to Nashville, where he got to know banjo player Curtis McPeake and fiddle player and another former Blue Grass Boy Charlie Smith and began hanging about back stage at the Grand Ole Opry and jammed with Bill Monroe.
The Opry back stage jamming led to Maynard being employed by Bill Monroe as a fill-in guitarist / lead singer.
He became a regular Blue Grass Boy for several stints during the first half of the 1960s and played on four recording sessions in 1961 and 1964. He can be heard sing lead on the chorus on the recording of Toy Heart, Shady Grove and Live and Let Live and playing guitar on four instrumentals. All are included on the LP Blue Grass Ramble (Decca DL 4266).
Maynard was a member of the band when Monroe made his Carnegie Hall debut in November 1961.
After joining Monroe, Maynard and Smith along with Bill Thomas (mandolin) and Bruce Weathers (banjo) formed the Cumberland Mountain Boys, a group which also included Johnny Montgomery. McPeake also played with the group at times.
They played on Radio WHIN in Gallatin, Tennessee, and on WCOR in Lebanon, Tennessee, at various times.
Jimmy Maynard and the Cumberland Mountain Boys – not to be confused with Molly O’Day’s group or a current band of the same name – recorded a single, River’s Running Wild / Lily White Rose, for Do-Ra-Me Records and an album, Bluegrass Music of the 60’s, for JME Records.
Curtis McPeake thought highly of Maynard and his musical drive ….
“The Cumberland Mountain Boys worked for an extended time before they finally quit. They did guest spots on Opry. They were a good group.”
Maynard worked with Curly Seckler (when Seckler needed someone for a gig locally), McPeake, Carl Tipton and the McCormick Brothers.
Here’s video of Jimmy singing I Wonder Where You Are Tonight with Curly Seckler some years ago.
Funeral arrangements are being undertaken by Bass Funeral Home, Inc.
Details include Graveside Services and Interment conducted at the Gordonsville Cemetery on Thursday, November 17, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. with Bro. Harold Ragland officiating.
A Memorial Service is scheduled to be held at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness at 3291 Old Murfreesboro Pike, Lebanon, Tennessee, 37087, on Saturday, December 19, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. with Bro. Dennis Bowman officiating. The Family will receive friends from 2:00 p.m. until service time at 3:00 p.m.