Keith McReynolds, 44, son of famed bluegrass mandolinist Jesse McReynolds (Jim & Jesse), died yesterday, Feb. 2, after an extended battle with multiple sclerosis.
McReynolds was an 18-year member of Jim & Jesse's band and played electric
bass. Jim & Jesse have been Grand Ole Opry members since 1964.
The Bluegrass Spectacular benefit concert for Keith
that Jim & Jesse have hosted annually in Gallatin, Tenn., will continue tonight (Feb. 3) as originally planned. The benefit
will be a memorial in his memory. The lineup includes a long list of greats including Jim & Jesse, the Osborne Brothers, the
Del McCoury Band, the Nashville Bluegrass Band and Mac Wiseman, among many others. The show will be performed in 15-minute
segments, much like an Opry performance, at the Gallatin Civic Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Raymond McLain of the
family group the McLains, who performed with Jim & Jesse & the Virginia Boys for eight years, was a close friend of Keith
McReynolds since the early `70s. "He always entertained everyone in the audience and was a good friend to all the other musicians
as well. Keith was so supportive with his playing and his personality too, whenever he was there, not only was his part wonderful,
but everyone else's part was better for him being there.
"Even after he stopped playing on the road, he continued
playing in the group on the Opry and in town, and he even traveled with us some on the road after he could no longer play,"
"What Keith gave me over the years when we were traveling together was his smile, his attitude and
his amazing sense of humor. He kept that all through his illness. He was a very spiritual person, and he had amazing faith
The proceeds from the concert will be used to help defray medical and convalescent expenses for the
Services will be at Southside Baptist Church, 1028 South Water, Gallatin, Tenn. on Saturday, Feb.
5 at 1 p.m. Visitation will be at Alexanders Funeral Home, 584 Nashville Pike in Gallatin tonight from 5-9 p.m. and tomorrow
from 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.