Jody Rainwater in ill health

Penny Parsons passed along this word about one of the legends from the early days of bluegrass music. Penny is a bluegrass writer and photographer who currently manages the performance career of Curly Seckler.

Jody RainwaterJody Rainwater (a.k.a Chuck Johnson), who spent two years as a Foggy Mountain Boy in the early 1950s, and later worked for many years in country radio, is having some serious health issues.  He spent several days in the hospital last week, after suffering a heart attack, and is now under nursing care at home.

During his 20 years at WSVS Radio in Crewe, VA, Jody became one of the most popular radio personalities and concert emcees in southern Virginia.  His format was classic country and bluegrass, and he possessed a vast record collection and a wide-ranging knowledge of the music.  He also promoted concerts in the area, and provided work for bands such as Flatt & Scruggs, the Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse, and many others, during a time when bluegrass was still relatively obscure and work was not always easy to find.  He went on to work at various other radio stations in Virginia and North Carolina before retiring in 1983.  He spent much of the next 20 years traveling with his wife, Emma, to various festivals around the southeast, and visiting with their many bluegrass friends.  To this day, Jody and Emma remain caring and devoted supporters of the music and the musicians.

Jody celebrated his 90th birthday on April 13, 2009.  In recent years, Jody’s health has prevented him from attending many festivals, but he still has close ties to WSVS Radio and the station has often featured him in guest spots on the air.  Now Jody needs our thoughts and prayers as he struggles with serious health challenges.

Get well wishes may be sent to:

Jody Rainwater
c/o WSVS
1032 Melody Lane
Crewe, VA 23930