Bluegrass legend Jody Rainwater has passed away at the age of 92. Born Charles Edward Johnson, the bassist was an early and influential member of the Foggy Mountain Boys, headed by Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt.
Scruggs and Flatt formed the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1949 and originally turned to Rainwater to be their booking agent. When founding bassist Cedric Rainwater quit, “Little Jody” stepped in to fill the bass and vocal bass positions. A month later, the group made their first recording with Columbia including Rainwater’s original song, “I’m Waiting to Hear You Call Me Darling.” He eventually took on many roles for the band, including “bass player, comedian, publicist and booking agent.”
Rainwater kept with the band until 1952, leaving due to the stress of constant touring and work. He continued playing, but became a mainstay radio disc jockey for WSVS in Crewe, Virginia. In 2000, he was inducted into the Virginia Folk Music Association’s Hall of Fame and was honored with the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2009.
Our condolences to the family and friends of Jody Rainwater.