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R.I.P. Jimmy Capps, “The Gambler” Guitarist and Grand Ole Opry Member Dies at 81

The Nashville session musician also played on records for George Jones, Johnny Cash, and George Strait

Jimmy Capps
Jimmy Capps, photo via artist
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    Jimmy Capps, a Nashville session guitarist and member of the Grand Ole Opry house band, has died at the age of 81.

    Capps was part of The Nashville A-Team, a collective of session musicians who backed artists like Elvis, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Brenda Lee throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. In Capps’ case, he famously played on Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”, George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today”, and George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning”. He also shared time in the studio with Johnny Cash, Reba McEntire, Ray Charles, Andy Williams, and Alan Jackson.

    After first playing the Grand Ole Opry as a teenager with the Louvin Brothers in 1958, Capps became a member of the Opry’s house band in 1967. He appeared weekly on the radio program for the next 60 years.

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    In recognition of his efforts, Capps was inducted into both the Musicians Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. In 2018, the Opry’s backstage room was renamed the Jimmy Capps Music Room in his honor.

     

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