Ye Olde History Snippets... Jim Bob Tinsley, a member of FKPC, was an avid outdoorsman, writer, and musician known for Western and cowboy songs.
Biographical/Historical Notes from University of Florida
Jim Bob Tinsley was an avid outdoorsman, writer, and musician known for Western and cowboy songs. He was born in Brevard, North Carolina ion August 12, 1921. He graduated from Brevard High School in 1940, and served as a naval aerial photographer during World War II. After the war, he married Dottie (Dolores) Wilson and earned money for college by working as a cowboy in Arizona. In 1956, he graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. In 1958, he completed a master's degree in education from what is now Northern Arizona University. He went on to a career in education, retiring in 1982 after 28 years with the Marion County School System.
He was an accomplished singer of cowboy ballads, beginning his career at the age of 13 performing with WWNC radio station out of Ashville, North Carolina. During the course of his career, he played with numerous musicians, including Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Tinsley wrote books on western music, including For a Cowboy Has to Sing and He Was Singin' This Song, which won the Cowboy Hall of Fame's Western Heritage Award for music in 1982.
In addition to his books on music, Tinsley was the author of works on other subjects. He was an avid sportsman, which inspired him to write The Puma: Legendary Lion of the Americas, The Florida Panther, and The Sailfish, Swashbuckler of the Open Seas. His experience with photography helped him produce a work on waterfalls in his home state of North Carolina entitled The Land of Waterfalls: Transylvania County, North Carolina. He also wrote about the history of the Tinsley family in From Totopotomoy to Transylvania: A Descendancy Line of the Tinsley Family in America since 1638.
Tinsley received many awards and honors during his lifetime, including the Pioneer Award, the Cowboy Cultural Award, and induction into the Western Music Association Hall of Fame. He also was the recipient of the Will Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Western Artists in 2000. His passion for western music left him with numerous artifacts from the West. He and his wife Dottie opened the Jim Bob Tinsley Museum in 1994, which closed in 2007. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 82.
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