Jimmy Capps, country music icon and Benson native, died at 81

Posted June 3, 2020 7:47 a.m. EDT
Updated June 3, 2020 10:40 a.m. EDT

Country music legend Jimmy Capps, from Benson, has died at 81 years old.

Capps performed as a member of the Grand Ole Opry for year 50 years -- longer than any musician.

He played with music royalty, including Elvis Presley. He was a guitarist on famous Kenny Rogers songs like "The Gambler," George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today," and George Strait's "Armarillo by Morning."

Capps lived in Nashville but frequently came home to visit friends and family in Benson.

The Rolling Stone reports that Capps began playing guitar in North Carolina when he was 12.

He auditioned for the Louvin Brothers' band in 1958 which kicked off his country music career.

“Thanks to Charlie…I guess I owe my whole career to him,” Capps said in his 2018 autobiography The Man in Black. “That one split-second decision that he made is the reason I am here. That decision made all the difference in my life.”

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