20111228

Bluegrass Pioneer Comedian Jody Rainwater Dies at Age 92

Image634606604106720000Jody Rainwater was his stage name. He played bass and was so popular as a Bluegrass Humorist he often got separate billing with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys where he was the stand-up bass player.

Rainwater was born Charles Edward Johnson in Surry County, North Carolina in 1920.  He died December 24th, 2011 at age 92.

Rainwater died in hospice care at Richmond Virginia’s Retreat Doctor’s Hospital.  For the last two years he suffered from heart disease.  A funeral will be held today, Wednesday, at 1 p.m. at Jennings-McMillian Funeral Home in Crewe, VA. Burial will follow at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Rice, VA.

Read More about Jody Rainwater.   Photo Gallery Below courtesy Charlie Rainwater family photos


In the 1930s, before he was known as Jody Rainwater, Charles Edward Johnson (on the right with the mandolin) and his brother, Herman (on the left with the guitar) performed together as Chick & Slim. Between them is their mother, Sally Emma Barnes Johnson.
By 1946, when this photo was taken, Charles Johnson was playing with the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys and had part of his stage name -- Little Jody. That's him left of the microphone with the mandolin.


In this 1948 photo taken at Roanoke's WDBJ radio station, Little Jody (still not Rainwater) is second from the right.
Here, Jody Rainwater with the Foggy Mountain Boys  has his full stage name. He was first billed as the little brother of another band member, Cedric Rainwater, who had left the band by the time this photo was taken at WDBJ in 1951. That's Jody on the left, then Everett Lilly with the mandolin, Earl Scruggs with the banjo, Lester Flatt with the guitar and Art Wooten with the fiddle.

2 comments:

AWTroxell said...

I'm a little bit late to this, but... I had the privilege of performing on radio LIVE with Jody back in the early 1980s. His daughter, Charlie, was a dear friend and she arranged a confab between her Dad and I. I was honored. Jody apparantly had a good time. (I guess I didn't muck up TOO badly... WHEW!) And Charlie was beaming. A splendid time was had by all. Rest well, "Jody." See you "soon."

AWTroxell said...

I'm a little bit late to this, but... I had the privilege of performing on radio LIVE with Jody back in the early 1980s. His daughter, Charlie, was a dear friend and she arranged a confab between her Dad and I. I was honored. Jody apparantly had a good time. (I guess I didn't muck up TOO badly... WHEW!) And Charlie was beaming. A splendid time was had by all. Rest well, "Jody." See you "soon."