Mean Joe Blake (2:24) - Randall Franks with Jim and Jesse McReynolds
Randall Franks with Jim and Jesse Mean Joe Blake (02:24)

Randall Franks Entertainment

Songwriters: Randall Franks and Alan Autry
Publisher & PRO: Peach Picked Publishing/BMI
Release: 2013

Vocals and Mountain Dulcimer: Randall Franks
Mandolin and Vocals: Jesse McReynolds
Guitar and Vocals: Jim McReynolds
Bass and Percussion: Monty Hall

This recording by Jim and Jesse Show alumnus - Randall Franks is highlighted by restored archival tracks featuring the unique harmonies and musical talents of legendary Bluegrass Hall of Fame brother duet Jim and Jesse McReynolds of the Grand Ole Opry.

While Jesse continues to perform, Jim passed away in 2002.
"It was a movie script created for a TV pilot that inspired me to take Alan Autry’s idea and pen this mandolin-infused 'Mean Joe Blake.' It is reminiscent of the story songs of the 1960s such as Jimmy Dean’s 'Big Bad John' and Walter Brennan’s 'Old Rivers.'" Randall Franks

Franks sings lead on his original song with Jim and Jesse singing echoes and harmonies, as they did for the original TV theme recording.

The musical performance is driven by Jesse on mandolin and also includes Jim on guitar, Franks on mountain dulcimer, and the sounds of bass and percussion.

“This is probably one of my favorites on the CD Mississippi Moon because thanks to the wonderful advances in technology, I was able to restore the archival tracks of two of my Grand Ole Opry heroes - Jim and Jesse McReynolds,” Franks said. “I am thankful to Jesse and Jim for all the encouragement they shared with me.”

Franks association with the Jim and Jesse Show began in the late 1970s as a youth. He appeared both as a Virginia Boy and guest star on their shows into the late 1990s. After Franks achieved American network TV stardom as an actor, Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys often appeared on television and for the Grand Ole Opry supporting Franks.

Franks is an International Bluegrass Music Museum Legend and a member of the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame. He and Autry both starred in the hit TV series "In the Heat of the Night."

The song appears on the Americana CD Alan Autry & Randall Franks Mississippi Moon:Country Traditions via order from