Little Jimmy Dickens, oldest Opry member, dies at 94

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Little Jimmy Dickens, a diminutive singer-songwriter who was the oldest cast member of the Grand Ole Opry, has died. He was 94.

Opry spokeswoman Jessie Schmidt says Dickens died Friday at a Nashville-area hospital of cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke on Christmas Day.

His novelty songs, including “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose,” earned him a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983.

Dickens, who stood 4-foot-11, had performed on the Opry almost continuously since 1948. His last performance was Dec. 20 as part of his birthday celebration. He turned 94 a day earlier.

Country legend Hank Williams Sr. nicknamed him “Tater” based on Dickens’ song “Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait).”