Natives of Carfax, Virginia, Jim and Jesse McReynolds cut their teeth on the old radio circuit, playing at various stations in the South and Midwest, including WPFB in Middletown. At WPFB in 1951, they were billed as Jesse and James, the McReynolds Brothers. They backed Smokey Ward on his Barrelhead Gang record and also cut ten sides for Kentucky Records in Cincinnati as the Virginia Trio, with Larry Roll. Jim was a guitar player and Jesse played mandolin, developing a cross-picking style which influenced many other mandolin players. They went on to a long career of recording for major record labels, becoming Grand Ole Opry members in 1964, receiving a National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1997, and were inducted into the IBMA Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 1993.

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