Big Jim DeNoon

Big Jim DeNoon

Big Jim DeNoon was born in Midco, Missouri, August 3, 1921, and he grew up to become an all-around musician who could play anything with strings on it. He could have easily been a one-man show playing fiddle, lead guitar, mandolin, banjo (tenor, plectrum and 5-string), and ukulele, but for many years, he was the band leader of a six-to-nine-man-band in California, known as the "Hayride Band". Big Jim learned music from his parents who played the fiddle and guitar, and as a boy, he won the Missouri State Fiddlers' Contest. In 1948, Big Jim moved to California where he became a very well-known musician. called Big Jim for his size (6'7" and well over 300 pounds), he played many venues: radio shows, TV shows, festivals, fairs, night clubs, he appeared in some Western movies, but most notably, on Compton, California's, "Town Hall Party". He played with and backed a myriad of entertainers on the West Coast including Spade Cooley, Cliff Stone, Red Murrell, Joe and Rose Lee Maphis, Pee Wee King, Johnny Bond, The Collins Kids, Tex Williams, Smiley Burnett, Ferlin Huskey, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Merle Travis, Tommy Duncan, the Black Brothers, "Cottonseed" Clark, Rusty Draper, to name just a few. Big Jim was not only a fiddle champion, having won the Northwest Fiddlers' Contest (now known as the National Old-Time Fiddler's Contest) in Weiser, Idaho, for the years 1958, 1959, and 1960, but he played all his instruments (most of them professionally) well with his very large hands. His real asset, though, was his warm and jovial personality. He was also known as "The Giant of Western Swing". He wrote and recorded a number of songs. Some of these are: 'Wild Strings," "E Ramble," "Stop! That's My Cotton Pickin' Heart," "Ukulele Waltz," and "Crazy Fiddle." Big Jim suffered from a sleeping sickness he caught while serving our nation in the U.S. Army in North Africa during World War II. As a result, he had to eventually ease up on his music venues. He passed away in Salinas, California, on November 2, 1978; only 57 years of age. It has been said of Big Jim that beside his outside huge appearance, inside was a huge heart of gold that he graciously shared with others.

This bio is from "The Western Swing Society" who inducted Big Jim in October of 2010

Special thanks to Nell, Cindy and Mike Holland

Click on a song title below to hear that song.

Little Ole Sod Shanty On The Claim - Recorded 1941 in Missouri

Chicken Reel - Recorded 1941 in Missouri

Rangers Hoedown - Square Dance without calls

E Ramble

Dream Waltz - Vocal by Johnny Jobe

Honeycut Stomp

You Don't Know What Your Heart Wants To Do - Vocal by Glenda Hawkins

No One Can Take Your Place - Vocal by Glenda Hawkins

Fluid Drive

Straight Shift

Long Lost Girl - Vocal by Bill Carter

Wild Strings

The Death Of Hank Williams - Vocal by Johnny Jobe

Earthquake Heart - Vocal by Martha Lou Gaches

Crazy Fiddle

Ukulele Waltz

Big Jim's Boogie

Stop, That's My Cotton Pickin Heart - Vocal by Johnny Jobe

If My Pillow Could Talk - Vocal by Martha Lou Gaches

Honeymoon On A Rocketship - Vocal by Big Jim

Mexican Joe - Vocal by Big Jim

Just Another Broken Heart - Vocal by Dale Stevens

Last Night I Kissed An Angel - Vocal by Dale Stevens

Franklin D. - Vocal by Tex Terry

Ozark Waltz - Vocal by Tex Terry

I Believed In You - Vocal by Martha Lou Gaches

Old Blue - Vocal by Martha Lou Gaches

Wednesday Night Swing

It Is No Secret

Peace In The Valley

That's Me Without You

I Couldn't Keep From Crying

Tommy Duncan, Big Jim, Bobby Black, Merle Travis

Jody McCauley, Ferlin Husky, Big Jim, Fred McMurray, Smitty Smith ,Jimmy Clark, Fred Strorer

Fred McMurry, Big Jim DeNoon, Jimmy Clark, Jody McCauley, and Johnny Jobe

Jody McCauley, Ferlin Husky, Big Jim DeNoon, Fred McMurry, Johnny Jobe, and Delton Justice

Johnny Jobe performed with Big Jim for many years and sang on some of his records

Big Jim DeNoon at Fiddlers Convention in Salinas

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