Jim and Jesse’s music, with signature tunes like “The Flame Of Love” and Paradise,” never crossed over to pop success. But from their first broadcast on a Virginia radio station in 1947 through their many years with the Grand Ole Opry starting in 1964 until guitarist Jim McReynolds passed away in 2002, they were a weekly presence in the homes of bluegrass and country fans.
This famous collection was originally released in 1978 as a double-LP, but has been long out of print. Happily, it’s back, with 24 tracks from 1962 radio shows. Best yet, it captures songs that Jim and Jesse had never before recorded.
The musicianship here is superb. Guitarists and multi-instrumentalists Allen Shelton and Randall Franks, fiddle great Jimmy Buchanan, and family talent kept the high level of musicianship in Jim and Jesse’s Virginia Boys band a constant. And brother Jesse’s unique “McReynolds style” of mandolin picking is always front and center.
This collection offers insight into a musical world that sadly no longer exists. Luckily someone remembered to flip the recording switch.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s July ’14 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.