Fellow Artists and Friends Remember and Mourn The Loss of Musical Legend Jimmy Capps

Musicians Hall of Fame member and Grand Ole Opry veteran Jimmy Capps
has passed away at age 81 due to health complications. After getting
his start with The Louvin Brothers, Jimmy went on to become one of the
most sought after session players in Nashville. Some of the incredible
recordings you can hear Capps on are The Oak Ridge Boys’ “Elvira,” “Sail
Away,” Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man,” Barbara Mandrell’s
“Sleeping Single In A Double Bed,” “I was Country When Country Wasn’t
Cool,” George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” Ronnie Milsap’s
“Smokey Mountain Rain,” and “Legend In My Time,” as well as other
artists such as Janie Fricke, Lacy J. Dalton, Andy Williams, Ray
Charles, Mac Davis, Moe Bandy, Joe Stampley, Johnny Paycheck, John
Conlee and countless more. As a staff member of the Grand Ole Opry since
1967, Capps has remained a solid foundation in Music City and can be
seen on Country’s Family Reunion and as “Sheriff” Jimmy Capps on Larry’s
Country Diner. Jimmy was not only a musical prodigy, but a friend to
many in the music and entertainment industry.

Fellow artists mourn the loss of their friend and share fond memories
that have left them forever inspired by the timeless, Jimmy Capps.

“I’m deeply saddened by the news of the passing of my dear friend,
Jimmy Capps. Jimmy was maybe the kindest and most considerate person I
knew in the music business. A pro’s pro, he played an important role in
many of my recordings and every Opry performance we ever played
together. Rozene and I send our sympathy and heartfelt prayers to
Michele and all of Jimmy’s family.”
– Charley Pride

“The NEWS this morning about the passing of our dear friend Jimmy
Capps has been devastating. In a time of darkness Jimmy was always a
light. Like everyone else in Nashville Jimmy was a part of our music and
our career and our lives!!! This will take a while to process… the
Oak Ridge Boys will sure miss The Man In Back … Until the DAY”
– Joe Bonsall / Oak Ridge Boys

“I have been singing professionally since I graduated from the
university over 55 years ago. Jimmy Capps has been a part of my career
from the beginning with The Oak Ridge Boys, starting with our gospel
days and all the way through to some of our biggest hits. When you hear
the guitar intro to “You’re The One In A Million,” that is Jimmy Capps
playing. Recently, I went to the Musicians Hall of Fame and saw a
display honoring Jimmy Capps. In that display was the guitar that Jimmy
played on “Elvira.” My wife, Norah Lee, has sung on the Grand Ole Opry
for over 40 years. For most of those years, especially when the Opry was
at the Ryman, Norah Lee has ridden with Jimmy and Michelle Capps to
work. This is another gut punch for me personally, losing one of my very
best friends. I ask that you remember Michelle and Jimmy’s sons in your
prayers. Today, there is a hole in the music industry, but Jimmy Capps’
contributions will stand the test of time. Rest in peace, Jimmy, in the
arms of Jesus.”
– Duane Allen / The Oak Ridge Boys

“When I first came to Nashville Jimmy Capps was already a fixture as
one of the great guitar players. I worked with Jimmy many times and I
got to know him and his wonderful wife Michele even better these last
several years at the Opry. Jimmy was always ready with a smile, a kind
word and a great guitar lick. I can’t imagine the Opry without Jimmy
Capps. These crazy times are much sadder this morning.”
– Crystal Gayle

“I am shocked and very saddened to hear that Jimmy Capps has passed
away. He was on 90% of the songs that I’ve recorded and he can never be
replaced. He was always one of the most authentic and genuine guys I’ve
ever known and has accomplished so much in life. We are all so much
better for knowing him. One thing that people will miss is looking over
their shoulder and seeing Jimmy there. We will all miss you, Jimmy. My
thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Michele.”
– B.J. Thomas

“I will cherish the memories of working so many shows and concerts
with Jimmy Capps. I will miss his smiling face. Blessings and prayers to
his family.”
– Janie Fricke

“I have been blessed to work with Jimmy down through the years. He
was a universally loved, Godly man, a double-super cool Nashville cat
and you couldn’t ask for a better friend. Sheila and I pray for Michelle
and the rest of his family at this time. Rest in peace, pal.”
– T. Graham Brown

“Sending our love and prayers to Michele Capps. Just heard of the
passing of Nashville musician Jimmy Capps. His musicianship was heard at
the Grand Ole Opry, Country’s Family Reunion, and as The Sheriff on
Larry’s Country Diner. I’ve sailed many music cruises with Jimmy, and I
know he was so honored to be inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame.
He was always humble and kind, and will be missed by many. Rest In Sweet
Peace Jimmy Capps.”
– Rhonda Vincent

“I am heartbroken over the loss of our great friend Jimmy Capps. He
was and always will be a country music icon. It was an honor and
privilege to work with him and call him my friend. He was such an
amazingly gifted musician, sweet spirit, tender-hearted and beautiful
soul! I know Jesus has welcomed Jimmy with open arms into his Heavenly
home. My prayers are with Michele & the family. Rest In Peace Jimmy.
We love you.”
– Deborah Allen

“What a way to wake up this morning. I just got the message that
Jimmy Capps passed away last night. I lost my sister last week and this
feels like I lost another family member now. I can’t believe he’s gone.
Sending prayers for Michele and their family.”
– Johnny Lee

“Jimmy, was so incredibly talented; his playing came from endless
experiences – he always knew “what to play” and always elevated the
music – just having him in the room made the music sound better. A
sweet, sensitive soul who will be greatly missed.”
– Michael Bonagura / Baillie & The Boys

“I loved Jimmy Capps. He was one of my mentors. I played alongside
him in the studio and at the Grand Ole Opry for over four decades. Even
now, when I close my eyes, I can see him walking through the Opry artist
entrance, guitar case in hand. He walked slowly–with purpose. He was
there to put on the best show he could. He loved the music. It was his
life. He was the best rhythm guitar player I have EVER worked with. He
was a perfectionist. As good as he was, he continued to practice and
hone. That’s what made him so damn good. You could always count on him
to know what to play and where to play it. We shared stories and
secrets. There were times he treated me like a brother. There were times
he treated me like a son. But every time we were together, he treated
me like a friend. R.I.P, James D. Thank you for being such a great
teacher. I learned from the best–Timbo.”
– Tim Atwood

“I’ll always cherish the memories of any time that I was blessed to
share the stage with Jimmy Capps. He is the epitome of a classic country
music guitarist and one of the nicest people I ever met. RIP Jimmy
Capps – we all love you dearly!”
– Shane Owens

“My thoughts are with the family of Opry Legend/guitarist Mr Jimmy
Capps. What an incredible legacy he will leave behind. One of
Nashville’s most well respected guitarists. I had the honor of meeting
him backstage at the Opry last year. He was soft-spoken and so humble. I
will never forget asking him “How many times have you played the Opry
in your career?” He looked at me and grinned and said “way too many to
count ha ha!” – Treasured memory of Jimmy. God bless him.”
– J.D. Shelburne

“It absolutely breaks my heart to hear of the passing of Mr. Jimmy
Capps. Not only was he a legendary musician, giving so much of his life
to country music, but he had a heart of gold. His creativity and talent
reached far into so many homes all around the world, from his time spent
in the studio to his time spent playing on the Grand Ole Opry. Not only
that, but being born in North Carolina towns that were only 20 miles
from each other, Mr. Jimmy has always been such an inspiration to me.
From the time I was a little girl just starting to get into music, I
believed someone like me from a small town in North Carolina could make
it because of how successful he was. He will truly be missed, and my
thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this hard
– Paige King Johnson

loss of Jimmy Capps will be felt on so many levels… certainly at the
Opry, on so many recording sessions, Larry’s Country Diner, Country
Family Reunion, the Musician’s Hall of Fame…and most of all by his
family and many, many friends and fans.  He will be remembered not only
as a great musician, but as one of the most wonderful men you could ever
know. My heart goes out to my friend Michele, with the assurance I will
be there for her. I feel it is ironic and yet appropriate that the CMA
hashtag today said #theshowmustbepaused,  yes Jimmy it must.” –Jeannie Seely

“He was the country guitar greatest of all time.  He was one of the most
humble, grateful, and honest people I’ve ever met. I knew he was a true
friend. All my memories of Jimmy are fond. One that stands out was
getting to sit and listen to Jimmy Capps and Ashley Campbell.  Jimmy on
guitar and Ashley on banjo trading licks and stories for an hour
backstage on the Larry’s Country Diner cruise ship.  Do wish so much it
had been recorded!” –Gus Arrendale / Springer Mountain Farms

“What a great loss of one of our finest gentlemen in country music and
one of our best and most consistent musicians . It will be hard to see
the Grand Ole Opry stage without Jimmy Capps on it! He was a dear friend
and will be dearly missed. Thank the Lord we have his music on so many
hit recordings and Opry shows. Our  prayers are with his living wife,
Michelle and his whole family!” –Connie Smith 

“My love and prayers go out to his wife, Michelle, and all his family
and friends, the Grand Ole Opry folks and more. Jimmy was much loved by
all and will be missed.” –David Ball

“Along with legions of other friends and fans.. my heart breaks at the
loss of our ‘Sheriff’.. Jimmy Capps. He shared his talents and heart for
decades.The reservoir of music that he leaves us is a blessing. But,
the MAN will be greatly missed. My prayers are with Michele and with
Mark and the entire Capps family. The Country Music Family has lost a
great brother. RIP Jimmy Capps.”  –Linda Davis

“Like so many, my heart is hurting over the loss of Jimmy Capps. One of
the greatest musicians ever  who started out playing with the Louvin
Brothers and remained current and successfully reinvented himself a few
times. But, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Jimmy is a
humble, kind and caring soul.  I also think of his soul mate, Michele.
They were quite a team and were the definition of true Love.”–Bobby Tomberlin

“I always felt extremely lucky, and a bit awed, to be around Jimmy – he
was the ultimate guitar player – Mr. Smooth! More importantly, he was a
real gentleman – one of the nicest, most humble musicians I’ve ever met.
And, he and Michelle obviously had a great,  loving relationship; it
was apparent from being around them. RIP, Jimmy! Love to Michelle, Mark,
and his family. Another great one gone.” –Marlon Hargis / Exile

“Oh boy. This is a hard one to hear. The Country Music world knows how
gifted Jimmy was, but those of us who knew his warmth and generosity
were the true lucky ones. Condolences to Michelle. RIP.” –JP Pennington / Exile

“Waking up to this sad news has hit very hard! Meeting Jimmy Capps on
the Opry was an honor and a thrill and then actually getting to know him
and experience his warmth, humor and amazing talent was an absolute
joy! There are certain individuals who are, or become, legends and in
this business he was all that and more. We are heartbroken at his
passing and extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Michele, his son
Mark, family and all who loved him. The Heavenly choir has gained a
CPA, (certified guitar picker!) RIP Jimmy.” –Sonny LeMaire / Exile

“Jimmy was a big man in more ways than stature alone. He left us at a
time when the world needs more like him. –Steve Goetzman / Exile

When we found out the world lost another musical legend and friend in
Jimmy Capps our hearts were broken. What an honor it was for us to get
to play with and know Jimmy and his wife Michele over the last few
years. Y’all know him not only as Jimmy Capps…but also the Sheriff on
Larry’s Country Diner. The mark he left on our lives and in the music
industry will always be cherished. Our thoughts and prayers go out to
Michele, their family and the collective Grand Ole Opry family during this difficult time.” –Darin and Brooke Aldridge

“It goes without saying, Jimmy Capps was one of the musical greats…a
legend. But far more importantly, Jimmy was one of the finest people I
have ever had the privilege to know. Humble, Kind, Gracious and Warm.
Just being around him made you want to be a better person. His wife
Michelle not only shares a birthday with Jimmy, but she also shares  the
same qualities that made all who knew, loved and admired her husband.
My deepest condolences go out to her, Mark and all the Capps family.
Stage left, at the Opry, will be forever empty.” –Dallas Wayne / SiriusXM

“I am convinced that Jimmy was the most-loved person in Nashville. EVERY
artist loved him so much. While his book “The Man in Back” was a great
tribute to him, I thought he deserved even more. So I produced a TV
documentary on his life. When he saw it, he cried and cried. He said,
“It’s kind of like going to your own funeral.” I replied, “I wanted to
bring your flowers while you were still here. I wanted you to see how
much you mean to everyone.” When it comes to the greatest men who ever
walked the earth…I’d put Jimmy Capps in the top two, just behind another
JC, Jesus Christ.” –Scot England / Author “The Man In Back”

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