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Subject: Jimmy Stoneman, 65; Bass Player and Singer With Family Act

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Date Posted: September 29, 2002 11:48:43 EDT

Jimmy Stoneman, 65, bass player and a vocalist for the country music act the Stoneman Family, died Sunday in a nursing home in Smyrna of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Following in the footsteps of their mother and father, 1920s-era pioneering country music recording pioneers Ernest V. "Pop" and Hattie Stoneman, the Washington, D.C.-born Jimmy Stoneman and other members of the large family formed a group in the 1950s, the Blue Grass Champs.

The group took first place in "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" competition in 1956 and began touring.

Renamed the Stoneman Family after they were joined by Hattie and Pop, the family group reached the country chart in 1966 with the Top-40 single "Tupelo County Jail."

In 1967, the Stonemans won the Country Music Assn.'s vocal group of the year award. After Pop Stoneman died a year later, the family continued to perform until they retired from touring in 1994.

Jimmy Stoneman, whose full name was Oscar James Stoneman, was one of 23 children, 13 of whom survived to adulthood.

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