A well known local bluegrass musician has been honored by the Governor and Tennessee General Assembly for his outstanding career.
A resolution paying tribute to Clyde Nokes was recently adopted by state lawmakers. Members of the Nokes family joined Clyde for the presentation by Governor Bill Haslam and State Representative Mark Pody on Thursday.
House Joint Resolution 587, sponsored by State Representative Pody states:
"WHEREAS, it is fitting that the members of this General Assembly pay tribute to those icons of Tennessee bluegrass music who have earned the admiration and respect of both their audiences and their fellow musical artists; and
WHEREAS, Clyde Bradley Nokes is most assuredly one such bluegrass icon, who is loved and respected in his community, not only for his musical talent, but also for his random acts of kindness to help those in need; and
WHEREAS, born at his parents' home on December 13, 1928, Clyde Nokes is the second of four children born to Shelah and Gertrude Nokes, who were sharecroppers in the Gassaway community; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Nokes grew up farming and selling produce on the side of the road, before he and his father opened a general store in the Sycamore community; and
WHEREAS, his father bought Clyde his first guitar, a Stella from Sears and Roebuck that arrived by mail in a cardboard box, when he was six, and the Roberson sisters taught him his first guitar chords; and
WHEREAS, before long Mr. Nokes started playing at the general store and pie suppers, and when his brother, Rayburn, began playing banjo, they formed the Nokes Brothers' Band along with David Watts; and
WHEREAS, Clyde Nokes then married a Short Mountain girl, Maxine Hale, and they had four sons, Gerry, Nick, Bill, and Jeff, each of whom learned to play an instrument by the time he reached his teens; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Nokes's singular career spans over seventy years of performing bluegrass music in his community, and he has also played with gifted musicians such as Benny Martin, Billy Womack, Benny Williams, Carl Tipton, Dorris Macon, Graham Williams, Curly Ray Fox, Jim Ed Brown, John Hagger, Johnny Campbell, and Ernie Ashford; and
WHEREAS, he has also jammed with Josh Graves and Lester Flatt's wife, Gladys, and performed on the television series Nashville 99 in the 1970s with fiddle player Mitchell Fuston; and
WHEREAS, generous to a fault, Mr. Nokes helped purchase a mandolin for a legally blind friend as a gift, so that he might be able to fulfill his dream of learning to play; and
WHEREAS, he has been known to deliver food to people in poor health or financial distress, and along with his family and friends, Mr. Nokes has donated his time and musical talents to fundraising concerts to help others with medical and other bills; and
WHEREAS, Clyde Nokes has distinguished himself as an asset to his community, as both a musician and a humanitarian, and he should be specially recognized; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED NINTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE SENATE CONCURRING, that we honor and commend Clyde Bradley Nokes upon his outstanding career as a bluegrass musician, thank him for his many good works to benefit his community, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.