The Official Website of Smilin' Jim Eanes
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About Jim


In an attempt to capture all of the events of my father's life, I decided to present his history by decade.  There are actually 2 categories, his Personal and Profession or Career information.  Most of the information here has been gathered through articles and interviews with my dad.  If you know anything different...like actual dates, feel free to send me an email and correct it.





1923-Born: Homer Robert Eanes, Jr on December 6, 1923 in Mountain Valley, Va. to         Homer Robert “Uncle Bob” Eanes and Beatrice Richardson Eanes

Brothers: Stafford, Ralph, Bobby and Ted             Sisters: Inez, Lois

1925-Severely burned his left hand—grabbing irons in a fireplace


Some signs of music interest watch Uncle Bob playing his banjo, but told it wouldn’t happen because of his hand.



Work in Uncle Bob’s general store and bootleg-a-torium

Ended his schooling in the 8th grade

Worked in tobacco field and furniture factory

Learned to play a guitar in spite of his hand


1932-Bought his first guitar through Sears and Roebuck

Played with Bob Eanes (grandpa) and the Mountain Valley Bootleggers                                 Uncle Bob Eanes, Hassell Stanley, Little Bobby Eanes, Bill Gregory

1939-Started with Roy Hall and the Blue Ridge Entertainers-playing WDBJ in Roanoke, VA



Tried to enlist in army, but rejected because of his hand and broken arm

Convinced by marketing person to change his name to Jim….Smilin’ Jim

1946-Moved from Martinsville to Knoxville to play Tennessee Valley Barn Dance


1943-Left Roy Hall’s band after Hall was killed in auto accident

1946– Played with Joe Johnson & the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys in Martinsville, VA                                              recorded his first song on the National Label (78)

1947– Co wrote “Wedding Bell’s”, “Next Sunday Darling is My Birthday”, I Overlooked an Orchid”, “Missing in Action” with Arthur Q. Smith

1948-Worked briefly with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs before joining Monroe

1948 Work with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys                                                              Don Reno (banjo) Benny Martin (fiddle) Joel Price (bass)

1949–First Capital recording after winning Capitals talent competition                               with Snuffy Jenkins (banjo) and Homer Sherrill (fiddle)



Early 50’s-met Ruby “Dickie” Morris at Starling Theater in Martinsville, VA                    married in 1953

1953-moved to South Hill, VA working radio for Johnny Shultz

1954-returned to Martinsville to work radio at WHEE

1955-I was born!  James “Jimmy” Robert Eanes-January 18


1950-worked at WBTM Radio in Danville, VA

1951-Started the Shenandoah Valley Boys in Danville, VA                                          Hubert Davis (banjo) Pee Wee Davis (fiddle)

Recorded 15 titles for Blue Ridge label                                                                             including Long Journey Home/Lady of Spain/Missing in Action (wrote with A Q Smith and it was 3rd on the country charts selling 400,000 copies

1952-Decca contract– 30 titles in six sessions                                                                       I Cried Again/Little Brown Hand/Wiggle Worm Wiggle/Rose Garden Waltz

1955-DJ at WHEE

Shenandoah Valley Boys                                                                                                   Allen Shelton (Banjo), Roy Russell (fiddle), Arnold Terry and dad

1956-Starday contract-9 years 35 titles in twelve sessions                                                                                                  Little Log Cabin/Your Old Standby



Early 60’s-moved to 419 Murohy Rd. in Collinsville, VA

1967 moved to Danville, VA working radio in Chatham, VA

1969-moved to Roanoke, VA


196--multiple Bluegrass festival DJing


1967-played the Wheeling Jamboree

1968-joined the Tennessee Cutups (Reno & Smiley’s old group) formed Shenandoah Cutups Billy Edwards (banjo), Hershel Sizemore (mandolin), Tater Tate (fiddle), John Palmer (bass)



1972-returned to Collinsville, VA

1978– heart attack




1983-wife Dickie dies July 21


The Rebel Recordings

1988– inducted into the Virginia Folk Music Association Hall of Fame

1988– European Tours– England, Scotland, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Belgium



1992-diagnosed with Emphysema-moved to Charlotte, NC with Jimmy’s family

1993-returned home, Bill Vernon was dad’s care giver and chauffeur and great friend!

1995-Dad passed way November 21 in at Blue Ridge Center, Martinsville, VA                    he is buried at Roselawn Cemetery in Martinsville,VA  ….his tombstone reads “In His Arms I’m not Afraid”


1990-Jim’s final CD Released “50th Anniversary” on Rebel records

1993-Jim final recording was in Danville, VA with Tony Rice, recorded “Freight Train”    this was the first and the last time I ever recorded a song with my dad

1993– Jim was inducted into IBMA’s Hall of Fame receiving a Certificate of Merit for Lifetime Achievement

1995– August– Dad’s last performance was at the Andy Griffith Theater in Mt. Airy, NC    this was also the last time I played publically with my dad