Jody Rainwater (Born Charles Johnson)
1920 – December 24, 2011
Jody Rainwater was a bluegrass pioneer who found his calling as a teenager, at first playing the mandolin. Before long, he and is brother were performing as Chuck and Slim, the Johnson Brothers. The boys built a local following thanks in part to their comical on stage banter. In 1937, they were hired by High Point, North Carolina radio station, WMFR to perform live every Thursday evening. By 1945, the duo were no longer together, so Rainwater enlisted in the Marines and served during WWII. Upon his discharge, he formed the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys with Woody Hauser and developed an onstage persona known as Little Jody. By the late ’40s, they disbanded, and Rainwater was soon playing bass alongside Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs in the Foggy Mountain Boys. The band had a hit with the Rainwater composition, “I’m Waiting To Hear You Call Me Darling.” Upon doctor’s orders, Rainwater retired from the group in 1952 and went to work hosting a morning radio show on WSVS. His program quickly became the biggest money-maker at the station and would continue to be until his retirement in 1984. He also performed local gigs with his own group from time to time during this period. Jody Rainwater was 92 when he passed away on December 24, 2011.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.