The Transylvania Times -

Heritage Museum To Honor Jim Bob Tinsley

 


While Jim Bob Tinsley was born in Transylvania County, he developed many other interests and had six books published through the University of Florida. However, Jim Bob’s two strongest passions were the beautiful waterfalls of Transylvania County and cowboy music.

“Many people don’t realize that Jim Bob also worked part-time as a cowboy while attending the University of Florida and pursued his master’s degree at the University of Arizona,” said his wife, Dottie Tinsley. “He collected stories about Western songs and always loved the old West.”

Jim Bob had become friends with Gene Autry while gathering information on the West over 30 years. Autry encouraged Jim Bob to write a book. Autry also wrote the foreword. “He Was Singing This Song,” was the result, which includes 300 historical photos.

“The University of Florida Press presented ‘He Was Singing This Song,’ to the Cowboy Hall of Fame. He won the Western Heritage Award in Music,” Dottie said.

Jim Bob also received the Bronze Wrangler award.

“It was the first time the award was given to someone who was not a composer,” she said.

Jim Bob became known as the premier researcher, preservationist and archivist of Western music and performed in many venues, including live radio shows.

The Jim Bob Tinsley Museum operated for several years on West Jordan Street. After his passing, the board of directors’ last official act was to establish the Jim Bob Tinsley Scholarship Fund to be awarded to high school graduates interested in journalism. They receive the scholarship funds during their junior or senior year in college if they have continued to pursue their original choice of career.

Seed money for the scholarship came from sales of artifacts either donated by the museum or the personal property of Dottie Tinsley. Dottie continues to work to raise money for the scholarship by selling Jim Bob’s award-winning classic book on the history of cowboy songs, “He Was Singing This Song.” The book also contains a CD of Jim Bob’s recordings of eleven of the songs that are featured in the book.

To honor Jim Bob Tinsley on the 90th anniversary of his birth, the Transylvania Heritage Museum will present a special musical event at the museum on Friday, Aug. 12, from 5:30-7 p.m. The John Linville Family will perform music and refreshments will be served. A special “mystery guest” may also appear.

Proceeds from the evening will be used to strengthen the scholarship fund. This year’s Jim Bob Tinsley Scholarship is tentatively scheduled to be awarded this special evening.

A special basket including “He Was Singing This Song,” three more CDs and other items will be raffled for the scholarship fund also. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and are available now at the Transylvania Heritage Museum located at 189 West Main St. The museum is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Participants do not have to be present to win. Those who cannot attend, but still wish to show their support for Jim Bob’s legacy by giving to the scholarship fund can send donations to the Transylvania Heritage Coalition, Inc. Be sure to note on your check, “Jim Bob Tinsley Scholarship Fund.” The mailing address is: P. O. Box 2347, Brevard, NC 28712.

For further information, call 884-2347 or email the museum at Rebecca@preservingourpast.org.

 
 

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