New book tells Joltin
It would seem that Jim McCoy was never one to shy away from the limelight. Now the Highland Ridge native, veteran country musician and recording artist has grabbed center stage as the subject of a new book.
Joltin' Jim, written by Morgan Messenger editor John Douglas, is a biography of McCoy's long career behind the microphone, a history of country music, and a tribute to those who played the music around here.
The book was released September 1, just in time for the annual Labor Day Patsy Cline event at McCoy's Highland Ridge bar, The Troubadour.
In Joltin' Jim, Douglas interspersed McCoy's recollections of his life as a musician, recording artist and radio host with McCoy's own photographs and memorabilia.
Anyone who's visited The Troubadour (named after Ernest Tubb, McCoy's musical hero) knows how extensive a collection of country music items Jim and Bertha McCoy really have.
Some of those keepsakes hang across the walls of the bar and restaurant, and now folks have a chance to see select pieces – McCoy and Patsy Cline clippings, a postcard from Buck Owens, classic band photos — up close between the covers of Douglas' book.
Scores of regional musicians are pictured or mentioned.
McCoy & Patsy Cline
Readers get a tour through country music's earliest days, and hear McCoy's stories about the famed Patsy Cline, who first hit the airwaves on McCoy's WINC radio show in Winchester, Va. in 1946.
McCoy's long friendship with Patsy Cline and her husband Charlie Dick is a thread throughout the story. Dick wrote the introduction to Joltin' Jim, in which he talks about his 50-year friendship with McCoy:
"Only after getting to know him personally did I realize just how much Country Music meant to him and how much Jim meant to Country Music. He was always willing to help local talents, whether it was having them appear with him at shows, or getting them connected to the music business in Nashville. I am sure there are many people who can thank Jim for all the help he gave them in their careers."
Local & national stages
While Patsy Cline's stardom was a shot to the top, cut short by her early death in a plane crash in 1963, McCoy's career in country music has been more of a long and winding road.
Early in the book, Douglas writes about McCoy's busy life in the 1940s andl'50's:
"During this period, Jim earned his nickname, Joltin' Jim McCoy. He was so busy doing radio shows and the small singing gigs that he calls