RIP James Kirkland

Legendary rockabilly slap bassist James Kirkland

We’re sad to inform you that the legendary rockabilly slap bassist JAMES KIRKLAND died Friday April 29th 2022. He was 87 years old.

James Kirkland was born in Linden, Texas in Cass County on May 15, 1934 and had an impressive music career. He played bass for Ricky Nelson, Jim Reeves, Johnny Horton, Bob Luman, Bobby Lee Trammell and others. He was in some films and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Shows with Ricky Nelson. He was with Nelson for several years before he started playing for Gentleman Jim Reeves.

James Kirkland also played with James Burton, who became Elvis Presley’s guitar player. This East Texas musician received a Pioneer Award from the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 2011, we had an honor to interview and feature this slap bass legend on our website. He was kind enough to answer all our questions and give us an opportunity to publish possibly the only interview he gave during his lengthy career. Make sure to read the interview here and slap some bass for him today!

The Art of Slap Bass presents JAMES KRIKLAND


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