The guestbook has been deactivated due to all the thousands of linkers out there who have no respect for my departed friend.
If you'd like to have a few words in here, just email me and I will add it.
I produced a project at Gene Breedens studio in Nashville back in 1997 called “Underneath the Harvest Moon” by Steve and Dale so Gene provided the musicians for the session and things went well and the project was finished. I got acquainted with Jim during the session and was immediately impressed with his friendliness and (of course) his playing.
I am coming back to do another project in March of this year, and discovered and was shocked to hear that Jim had passed away.
In listening to our project from 97, I was amazed at the simple ness but the complexity of his work. He was truly an amazing musician and I will always remember him with respect and fondness although I didn’t know him well personally, I feel a connection with him and his work.
We have one cut in particular called “After the Dance” on that CD that the fiddle playing is so extraordinary it is unreal or (surreal).
I am so grateful that our paths crossed and that at the very least, I have something to keep with me the rest of my life that represents what he had devoted himself to.
Rest in Peace Jim, you created beauty and harmony in our live’s.
Dale Godbey, 1/25/2012
Dear Forrest and other friends and family of Jim Unger,
I just found this memorial site, and I look forward to reading it. I found it after I came across a "Sweet Memories" vid on Youtube which happened to list Jim on fiddle. (He is just about invisible and inaudible in the vid, seated behind and obscured by the steel and guitar players.) This prompted me to search further, and that's how i found you.
I met Jim one time (I mean it--only one time) at a jam session in Spring Branch, Texas (Houston) at a place called, I believe, The Lone Star Cafe (but I wouldn't swear to it--coulda been the Lone Star Saloon, or even The Long Branch Saloon, etc) some time in the early 1980's, by my best recollection (I wouldn't swear to that, either. His friends and family will recall just when Jim was actually in Houston). I was completely impressed with his playing, but I especially recall his natural ability to shoot the breeze with people he had never met, and truly enjoy it. At least that's how it made me feel talking with him that evening--a Sunday, I think. We had a good time doing just that. He definitely played out of my league, and he was in great demand, as back in those days, anyone who could play at all could work weekends in or around Houston somewhere (I know this, because I was gigging as much as I wanted, and I can't play the guitar yet)--So I never had the pleasure of doing a gig with Jim Unger. (I got a feeling he could probably give his band buds one heck of a rough time on stage, in a never-a-dull-moment sorta way.) Although most musicians have come a long way since the early '80's, I recall that Jim played bluegrass and swing (not to mention pop country and anything else that came up) equally well and with nearly equal respect back then. (Y'all know that can be a rare trait among some accomplished fiddle players sometimes.)
Since then, every time we were scrambling around for a fiddle player, or even times we weren't, i thought about Jim and wondered where he was playing and how he was doing. Through the years, I checked around now and then just to see if he had a new Houston phone or address, although I knew he had said he was headed back to NC and I heard the same through the grapevine. I even tried Carolina few times, but back then ya had to know the town where a fella was listed, and so on. I remember Jim as the kind of guy you just want to call up and harass now and then, shoot the breeze and see how he's doing, if ya know what I mean.
i am saddened to see that this fine fellow and fine musician has passed on. I look forward to reviewing the website, and am sorry that it is a memorial. I don't recall our comparative ages, but I'd guessed him to be a little younger than myself. I don't ordinarily have this level of recollection of some picker I only talked with once and never shared a bandstand with. He made a large impression as a musician, a person, and a guy who would have been a fine friend of mine if he had stuck around Texas. I'll bet that those of you lucky enough to have known him well are missing him severely. I extend my belated condolences to all.
BETTY & CHUCK SMITH
|Jimmy, this web site is for you.|