VALE Jimmy Cox 1934 – 2021

by | 27 Jan, 2021 | 1 comment

We learned this week of the passing of Kentucky born master banjo maker Jimmy Cox aged 87. Jimmy lived in Topsham, Maine with his family.

Jimmy built his first banjo, a signature model Kentucky 5 in 1964 when he could not find one with a sound that he liked. Jimmy Cox continued to build banjos and other bluegrass instruments for over fifty years at The Five String Music Studio. In addition to his own line of banjos, Jimmy’s 3-ply maple rims, resonators and metal parts are used by many manufacturers of top-quality banjos throughout the world including Gibson Frank Neat Banjos, Stanleytone banjos and even our own Australian luthier Laurie Grundy of Grundy banjos.

Jimmy’s banjos are highly sought after and are played by bluegrass musicians far and wide. Ralph Stanley and Sonny Osborne also play banjos built with Cox components.

Raymond Fairchild, Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Cox

Jimmy Cox is also an inductee into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame and his two grandsons, Jeremy and Adam who have worked with Jimmy over the years machining parts and mopre recently running the business during Jimmy’s illness.

1 Comment

  1. Laurie Grundy

    Jimmy made the very best steam bent three ply maple rims available & resonators and they appear in many of the banjos built for Gibson by First Quality Music. Apart from rims and resonators Jimmy also made and supplied banjo hardware parts to numerous boutique banjo shops including mine. Whenever Jimmy spoke about banjo luthery I listened intently to gain the benefit of his vast knowledge of banjo production. For banjo builders like me it was a great experience to visit his banjo workshop and see him in action. Jimmy was very obliging and it was always a pleasure to call him to place an order. My condolences and best wishes to his family.