Jimmy Heap / Melody Masters

Genres: Country & Bluegrass
Decades: 1990s


James Arthur Heap, 23 March 1922, Taylor, Texas, USA, d. 4 December 1977, Texas, USA. Heap learned to play guitar as a youth but his connection with country music did not really start until 1947, when he gained his release after military service during World War II. He returned to Taylor and with his friend ‘Big Bill’ Glendening (b. 5 May 1924, Taylor, Texas, USA; bass) formed the Melody Masters who included Cecil ‘Butterball’ Harris (b. 1929, Sharp, Texas, USA; steel guitar), Arlie Carter (b. 9 September 1911, near Lexington, Texas, USA; piano), Horace Barnett (b. 18 October 1914, near Beaukiss, Texas, USA; guitar) and Louis Rencon (fiddle). Initially influenced by Bob Wills, they began to play any place that would book them and became known for their appearances at the popular but tough Dessau Hall dancehall. Eventually they were offered work as an opening act for several major country acts including Wills, Ernest Tubb and even Hank...

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