They called him "Spider." And for over 60 years his guitar rang true in Nashville.
James "Spider" Wilson died today (2/26) of cancer in Nashville.
He came to prominence in 1947 when he worked with Little Jimmy Dickens (whom we lost eight weeks ago). In 1953 Wilson became a member of the Grand Ole Opry staff band and remained there until 2006, when he quit over what he called "humiliating treatment" by the Opry management concerning the Opry staff band not being used on the televised portion of the Grand Ole Opry.
In addition to working with Dickens and on the Opry, Wilson was a prolific session guitarist. His beautiful guitar work can be heard on songs such as "The End of the World," the legendary Skeeter Davis hit, Bill Anderson & Jan Howard's cover of "Someday We'll Be Together," Faron Young's version of "Sweet Dreams (Of You)" "Stateside" by Mel Tillis, and Ray Price's "My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You."
Wilson was one of the true unsung heroes of Nashville session work and Opry live performances, and his talent will be sorely missed.
James "Spider" Wilson was 79.