You likely also know his work from studio recordings of songs like Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" and Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man."

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
June 04, 2020
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It's a tough week for the country music community, mourning the death of Grande Ole Opry house band guitarist, Jimmy Capps at 81-years-old. As Billboard reported,  the masterful guitar player was both a country session musician and a longtime Grand Ole Opry house band guitarist.  Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the talented musician had an impressive career that included collaborations with Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Kenny Rogers, Conway Twitty, and many, many more country greats.

In a statement to Billboard, Dan Rogers, VP and Executive Producer of the Grand Ole Opry memorialized the legendary Capps, saying, "Jimmy helped define country music for more than one generation of fans. His musicianship will live on every time somebody somewhere plays [Kenny Rogers'] 'The Gambler,' '[George Jones] 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' or countless other recordings on which he played. He was an absolute fixture on stage and backstage at the Opry. I personally reveled in walking around the corner from my office before showtime and seeing the namesake of the Jimmy Capps Music Room holding court with his smile and his guitar, talking with longtime friends and newcomers alike." Rogers concluded of the Opry's longtime friend, adding, "The difficult part of being so close-knit at the Opry is that losses like this cut deep. While the Opry will never be the same, it's better for Jimmy Capps having played his part in it for more than 60 years."

With a heavy heart, the team at the Grand Ole Opry also posted an announcement of Capps' passing on social media. Quoting the esteemed musician, they shared these words, “As I look back at my sixty years on the Opry, I can truthfully say, If you love what you do, time just flies.” Alongside Capps quote, they wrote, "In memory of our dear friend, Jimmy Capps. Thank you for more than 60 years of music on the Opry stage."

Many fellow musicians expressed their sorrow in the comments section.  "Loved playing with Jimmy, sending love to his family," wrote Eric Paslay. "We would always chat about North Carolina together. Great man and great player right there," shared Scotty McCreery, a Garner, North Carolina native.

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We send our deepest condolences to all who knew, loved, and listened to Capps. We know we'll be listening to songs like Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" and Conway Twitty's "The Rose" and savoring his inimitable guitar riffs today.